Tour News

Six Australasians Tee It up at Final European Qualifying

Richard Green is trying to win his way back to the European Tour. (Photo: Henry Peters)
While the focus of attention of the European Tour over the next two weeks will be on the Nedbank Challenge and season-ending DP World Tour Championship Dubai, 95 golfers are putting their immediate playing futures on the line at this week's Final Qualifying for the 2019 European Tour.

The 108-hole marathon gets underway on Saturday over two courses at Lumine Golf Club in Tarragona on the north-east coast of Spain.

Among those 95 players attempting to secure one of the 25 cards available for European Tour status next season are five Australians and one New Zealander and all but one of them are chasing full European Tour playing rights for the first time.

Victorian Richard Green, a three-time European Tour champion, has played only six events on the European Tour this season as he relied on past status to gain starts in the events he did play.

Green, 47, will be joined by his fellow Victorian, Ben Eccles, who might otherwise have been playing the NSW Open this week, an event he won in 2015.

Eccles has played a full season on the European Challenge Tour this season without much success although he has shown improvement in recent weeks in jointly sanctioned events in China.

US-based South Australian Nick Cullen has also played European Challenge Tour events this season although has been able to tee it up in several European Tour events despite having only limited status. The left-handed 2014 Australian Masters Champion recorded a best finish of 12th in the Shotclock Masters on the European Tour.

Victorian Deyen Lawson headed qualifying at Stage Two in Spain last week and has put together several good finishes in China this year.

Last Sunday Jordan Zunic won the Queensland Open in a dramatic finish and will be no doubt buoyed by that confidence-boosting win.

Twelve months ago, Zunic so nearly won the right to play on the European Tour when beaten in a playoff for the Australian PGA Championship, a finish which would have given him status in Europe.

Hopefully for Zunic he can get the job done this week and despite so nearly letting a five-shot lead slip last Sunday he is a significantly talented player with the sort of game to succeed in Europe if he can play well this week.

New Zealander Josh Geary had European Tour status this past season courtesy of successfully negotiating this process 12 months ago but after a disappointing season he is back to try again. 

The option for failing this week is another year on the wide-travelling and expensive European Challenge Tour.          


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