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Seven EPT golfers join the European elite

Seven EPT golfers join the European elite

December 10th, 2010

SEVEN players with experience on the PGA EuroPro Tour have graduated to join Europe’s elite by gaining their European Tour Card.

Scotland’s Lloyd and Elliot Saltman, England’s Steve Lewton and Steve Tiley, South Africans Jaco Van Zyl and Sean Norris and Liam Bond from Wales all performed well at the final stage of the European Tour Qualifying School.

More than 150 hopefuls made it to the final qualifying stage in Spain where they played up to six rounds at the PGA Catalunya Resort in Girona, Spain.

A top 30 finish would be enough to claim a European Tour Card and brothers Lloyd and Elliot Saltman both did what they had to, finishing tied 11th and tied 26th respectively.

The Saltmans will join Italian Ryder Cup duo Edoardo and Francesco Molinari as the only two pairs of siblings on the European Tour.

Lloyd, who at 25 is the younger of the pair, carded a 69 to finish in a share of 11th place on 12 under par, while 28-year-old Elliot had a nerve-racking wait to see if he would be joining him, eventually making it on the mark of nine under par after a 70.

Elliot said: “Our mum texted me last night and said she hoped either both of us made it or neither of us, so we could travel together again next season.

“It feels awesome to make it on to The European Tour with my brother and it should be a good Christmas in our house this year after this.”

Lloyd added: “It feels unbelievable, and to have Elliott get his card makes it extra special. I hardly put a foot wrong today – to make only one bogey on that course was pretty good going – so it’s up there with the best rounds of my career, and certainly the most important.

“I’ve been in the top 30 most of the week, and just lost a few places yesterday, but I’m proud of the way I finished the job off and I’m sure my parents are proud of me too. I owe them a lot for the support they’ve shown us, so hopefully this goes some way towards repaying them.”

Lloyd Saltman played in five EuroPro Tour events in 2010, making the cut in three of them with his best performance being tied second at Five Lakes, Essex, in September.

Elliot enjoyed a fine year on the EPT in 2009 when he finished inside the top three in three events – at Collingtree Park, Princes Golf Club and Marriott Tudor Park before playing on the Challenge Tour in 2010.

Elsewhere, Steve Lewton, who had held a lead on the opening day, finished tied 19th and last played on the EPT in 2008.

Sean Norris (tied 11th in Spain) came second in the EPT event at WhiteKirk Golf Club in 2003, while Liam Bond (tied sixth in Spain) came 11th in the Order of Merit in the same season.

South African Jaco Van Zyl finished fifth in Spain and had experience on the EuroPro Tour in 2004 and 2005.

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