Sam Horsfield claimed an impressive eight-shot victory at Qualifying School Final Stage as 33 players earned European Tour cards on a dramatic sixth and final day at Lumine Golf Club.
The Englishman, who shot all six rounds in the 60’s during the six-round marathon final stage of Q-school, closing with an impressive eight under par 63 to complete the best round of his professional career and the joint lowest round of the week, to reach 27 under par overall.
Horsfield, who turned professional earlier this year and has played in three European Tour events to date, was one of 33 players (top 25 and ties) to earn their tour cards on another good day of scoring in Tarragona.
“All these experiences add up,” Horsfield said. “Hopefully I will have the opportunity to one day win on the European Tour or the PGA Tour and I can look back on days like today where I came out here and shot 63 in the final round, while having a lead, which is something that you can’t teach and you have to learn by putting yourself in these positions.
“So next time when I have a lead in another tournament I can hopefully reflect on this memory.
“I am not sure I can say I envisaged being here when I first started this journey at First Stage but I feel as though my game has been good for a while and it really came together this week. I only missed one green in regulation today and I also managed to hole a lot of putts – which proved to be the difference.”
The cut off line fell at 13-under-par, although it proved to be a nervy wait for the nine players tied on that number as just one player reached 14-under would have pushed them out.
Past European Tour winners Kristoffer Broberg, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño and Anders Hansen were among the qualifiers while youngsters Jazz Janewattananond, Connor Syme and Jonathan ‘Jigger’ Thomson will embark on rookie years in the Race to Dubai.
James Heath was the first player to confirm his qualification. The Englishman was out in the first group of the day and birdied the ninth hole – his last – to reach 14 under par and prolong his professional career after a tough few years of questioning his future.
Full List Of Qualifiers
-26 S Horsfield (Eng): 69 68 66 68 67 63;
-19 Jacques Kruyswijk (RSA), Pontus Widegren (Swe), Andrea Pavan (Ita), Anders Hansen (Den), Christopher Ford (Eng), Jeff Winther (Den)
-18 Kristoffer Broberg (Swe
-17 J Geary (Nzl), Mark Foster (Eng), Connor Syme (Sco)
-16 Pep Angles (Esp), Gonzalo Fernandez – Castaño (Esp), Laurie Canter (Eng)
-15 Sebastian Gros (Fra), Ross McGowan (Eng), Nico Geyger (Chi)
-14 Lorenzo Gagli (Ita) 71 73 66 72 67 65; Sebastian Heisele (Ger) 72 67 70 70 70 65; James Heath (Eng) 72 68 68 69 71 66; Matthias Schwab (Aut) 71 69 67 71 69 67; Henric Sturehed (Swe) 67 71 71 70 67 68; Jonathan Thomson (Eng) 67 72 68 67 71 69; Matthew Baldwin (Eng) 71 69 68 68 66 72;
-13 Ben Evans (Eng), Justin Walters (RSA), Marcel Schneider (Ger), Christiaan Bezuidenhout (RSA) 69 69 72 70 68 67; Felipe Aguilar (Chi), Matthew Nixon (Eng), Gavin Moynihan (Irl), Jazz Janewattananond (Tha), Christofer Blomstrand (Swe)