The first stage of qualifying school for the 2009 PGA EuroPro Tour was completed on Friday morning at Forest Pines, North Lincolnshire, after a play-off for the final spots was required at the weather-hit venue.
Fog disrupted the second day’s play at Forest Pines for two hours on Thursday morning, but it didn’t affect Scott Jamieson’s concentration as he eased to a two shot victory to go into the final stage at Frilford Heath next week full of confidence.
“Winning here helps but I will just treat it like any other tournament,” said the 25 year-old, who carded rounds of 70 and 72 (pictured with Graham Collins, golf operations manager at Forest Pines Hotel and Golf Resort). “The cloud never really lifted even after the delay so I knew that under par rounds were always going to be good enough.”
Jamieson finished ahead of fellow Scotsman Ross Cameron (Saltire Energy) and Joe Senior (Heysham) who recorded 144 over 36 holes. A play-off between nine players was needed on Friday morning to settle the final four places of the 56 available for the final stage available at the venue.
Cameron shot a four under 69 in Wednesday’s opening round to lead Jamieson, Senior and James Hepworth (Ilkley GC) by one stroke. Fog hit the second round though forcing a two hour delay from 8.34am – just after Hepworth had teed off. He dropped off the pace and shot 77 to finish one over for the qualifier, while Cameron also stuttered in his second round, with back to back bogeys at the 16th and 17th contributing to a round of 75. Senior was in trouble after a four over front nine saw him drop to one over, but he recovered well with three birdies down the back to join Cameron in second spot.
Winner Jamieson was due to tee off just before 10am so he was largely unaffected by the fog delay and after his steady opening round he knew what he needed to do. Two dropped shots among nine pars saw him at one under after the first 12 holes, but a burst of birdies at 13, 14 and 15 put Scott in control of proceedings and his 72 was enough to scoop first place and the £300 winner’s cheque.
Jamieson has just returned from The Gateway Tour in the US and feels that stood him in good stead for the challenge at Frilford Heath. “I’ve been playing consistently through January and February which has to help when you come into events like this,” said Jamieson. “It was a lot colder over here of course!” The Glasgow man was based in West Palm Beach, Florida, finishing tied second at the Saint Lucia River Club at the beginning of February and followed that with two more top ten finishes before swapping the Florida sun for the fog at Forest Pines.
At Stoke by Nayland in Essex, a hole-in-one in the first round for Paul O’Hanlon (Curragh) was the difference as rounds of 67 and 69 saw him win by two shots at eight under from amateur Gary King (Tyrells Wood GC). O’Hanlon opened with four birdies in his second round on Thursday and while he stuttered with a double bogey at the tenth and dropped shots at 14 and 18, three further birdies down the back nine saw him home. King enjoyed a topsy-turvy final round after a solid two under par on Wednesday – with nine birdies, four bogeys and a double bogey in his 68 taking him to 138 for the tournament, three shots ahead of Matthew Southgate (Thorpe Hall) in third spot at three under with five players sharing fourth at level par (144) – 46 players in total qualifying from the venue, which hosts the tour again at the end of June.
There was an international flavour at Mentmore in Buckinghamshire, where Spaniard Ismael Castillo recorded two rounds of 68 to edge out Scotsman Scott Herald (Mearns Castle Golf Academy) by one stroke. Rochester and Cobham’s Michael Bush finished in third spot at six under (138) with another Spaniard and overnight leader Carlos Balmaseda sharing fourth place with Robert Watkins (Crews Hill GC). Mentmore advanced 58 players to the final stage with five Spanish golfers making it through at the Leighton Buzzard course.
The final venue of the quartet was Cumberwell Park in Wiltshire with 30 qualifying spots available. Steve Surry (Cumberwell Park) and Paul Reed (Bristol & Clifton GC) shared first place at six under. Surry was four shots behind Reed after the first round, with Reed firing five birdies in his 66 and Surry carding a one under par 70. But the latter used local knowledge to full advantage at the end of his second round, plundering three birdies in the last three holes to shoot 66 – Reed recording a second round 70 to match Surry. Martin Sell finished one stroke behind in third spot (137) with Roy Holland (Long Ashdon) shooting two rounds of 69 to finish in fourth spot.
The final stage of qualifying school takes place at Frilford Heath next week (April 7-9) – full scoreboards from the first stage are available by clicking on the Score Updates link on the homepage.
Date Posted: 03/04/09