Meet the rookies – the new boys on the European Tour in 2017
It was six days of gruelling golf but, for this perfect ten, it has all been worth it.
They have survived the rigours of PGA Catalunya Resort, and the final qualifying stage, to book their spots on the European Tour for the first time.
So let’s have a look at European golf’s newest stars as they look ahead to making their tour debuts…
The Englishman followed up a top 10 in second stage qualifying in Lumine by winning the finals.
23-year-old Kimsey, who turned professional in 2013 with a handicap of +5, is based at Woodhall Spa and was part of that year’s Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup team that lost in New York.
Made only two appearances on the Challenge Tour this year, and was 200th in the standings, but has delivered when it counted.
Swede Karlsson finished 37th in the Challenge Tour rankings, enjoying four top 10 finishes in 20 events. The 23-year-old, who is from Knivsta, is attached to Uppsala and turned professional three years ago.
One of the more high profile rookies, Chesters hit the headlines at The Open in 2015 when finishing tied 12th thanks to rounds of 71, 72, 67 and 69 at St Andrews.
A two-time winner of the European Amateur Championship, the 27-year-old also played a key role in GB&I’s winning Walker Cup outfit last year.
Made his professional debut at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship just a few weeks later and has been playing on both the EuroPro and Challenge Tours before his successful assault on final qualifying.
26-year-old Soderberg won the Challenge Tour’s season opening event, the Kenya Open, with four rounds in the 60s and finished 32nd in the Race To Oman. The Swede had previously finished third in the Nordea Masters in 2015. Soderberg lives in Gothenburg and is attached to Delsjo. This was his third crack at European Tour qualification.
A fabulous five under 67 vaulted him up the leaderboard in final qualifying and secured the 28-year-old German his European Tour playing credentials.
Standing at 6ft 7in tall, Heisele turned pro in 2012 and played his first full year on the Challenge Toru in 2015.
A former alumni of the ProGolf Tour, the Bayern Munich fan finished tied fourth in the Challenge Tour opener in Kenya. Was in the money in 18 of the 21 tournaments he played on the Challenge this season.
Another Swede to join the ranks, 26-year-old Widegren was the youngest ever club champion at his home course of Stockholm – taking the title at the age of 13.
Played four years at UCLA, in the USA, and played three times as an amateur in the Eisenhower Trophy. Best finish in the Challenge Tour in 2016 was tied 7th in Kazakhstan.
Was paired with Kimsey in GB&I’s losing Walker Cup effort in 2013, and made the top 25 to secure his card despite a final round 74 – his worst of the week.
The 22-year-old Englishman enjoyed two Challenge Tour wins – the National Bank of Oman Classic in 2014 and the AfrAsia Golf Masters at the end of that year.
Had previously won a title in Egypt on the Pro Golf Tour and the Birchington-based player, who is attached to North Foreland, turned pro in 2013 off plus 4.
One of the older rookies at 31, the Swede has had six goes at qualifying and has finally secured his dream. Biggest payday to date came when scooping €5,500 at the M2M Russian Open in 2015.
Hung on to T25th following a nervy final round 75 but the reward for the 24-year-old Stevenage resident, who turned pro in 2013, is a card at the fourth time of asking.
Plays out of Knebworth Park and has won on the EuroPro Tour.
A closing 66 saw him reach the magical 5 under total right on the number. Has been successful on the EuroPro and Mena Golf Tour and also has a Challenge Tour win this season to his credit – taking the Montecchia Open in May on his way to finishing 24th in the Race to Oman standings.
A veteran of European Tour qualifying, his first attempt came in 2009, the 26-year-old Tyrrells Wood player lives in Banstead.