Englishman Matthew Southgate kept his emotions in check to earn a European Tour card for next season.
It has been a traumatic year for the 27-year-old from Essex, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer earlier this year. Meanwhile, his two-year-old niece, Hannah, is undergoing ongoing treatment for leukaemia.
However, he didn’t make a score worse than a bogey in 108 holes across six round and posted a closing total of 14 under par to finish in sixth place.
In the 6th and final round of Q-School at the PGA Catalunya Resort in Spain, Southgate was one of 11 British players to claim their tour cards for the upcoming season.
Perhaps the most nervous of them was Huddersfield’s Chris Hanson, who began the day in the comfort of sixth place. However, he dropped five shots in eight holes to leave him sitting on the cut-off mark with two holes remaining.
An immense show of mental strength prevailed as Hanson finished with two pars to finish tied for 24th place.
The low round of the day was fired by Welshman Stuart Manley, who shot a fanatic 66 to soar up to 13th.
“Thats how I feel with my life, I’ve just had to hack it out sideways and start again” – Matthew Southgate Manley was the only Welsh player to succeed and no Scots made it through.
The only Irishman to prevail was Walker Cup hero Paul Dunne.
He had to overcome a six-hole play-off just to get to this stage and showed its worth with his collection of a tour card today.
Dunne was congratulated by fellow Irishman and R2D contender Shane Lowry via Twitter following his round, who said: “Great stuff from @dunners11 (Paul Dunne) this week to get his card at Tour School. Always great to have as many paddies on tour as we can”.
Former European Tour winners Richard Finch and Edoardo Molinari – who made four birdies in his last eight holes – also made it through but only just. Nevertheless the pair will be back with the best next season.
As ever, there were some sad stories to emerge on the final day. Former European Tour winner Damien McGrane slumped to a disappointed 78 to take himself out of contention while Australian Dimi Papadatos needed a double-bogey walking up the last and duly carded a triple-bogey seven to miss out by one.
In total, 156 players made it to PGA Catalunya, 78 remained following the cut and today 27 of them earned their European Tour cards.