Indian golfer SSP Chawrasia, on Thursday, won back his European Tour card with a sterling performance over 108 holes to finish fourth at the six-round Q-School event played at two courses of the Lumine Golf Club in Tarragona, Spain.
Chawrasia, a four-time winner on the Tour, will be the third Indian player alongside Shubhankar Sharma and Gaganjeet Bhullar on the European Tour in 2020.
Shubhankar got the playing rights on account of his two wins in 2018 season, while Bhullar won a European Tour title in 2017 and was the last man to keep his card at 115th place.
Shubhankar finished in 65th position on the Race to Dubai, while Chawrasia was 173rd. Playing all six rounds under par and five of them in 60s, Chawrasia had rounds of 69, 66, 71, 67, 69 and 69 to be 17-under 411 to finish sole fourth. Top 25 finishers and ties – 28 in all – won the card for the Tour.
Chawrasia, who won his first European Tour title in 2008, added three more in 2011, 2016 and 2017. All his wins have come in India and the events were co-sanctioned with the Asian Tour. He has won two other titles on the Asian Tour.
“I was very upset at losing my status on European Tour after so many years. I have played on European Tour since 2008. I badly wanted to get back and do well. So, I skipped Panasonic Open India at home, an event I have won in the past, to play the European Tour Q-School,” said Chawrasia.
He added, “It is one of the most gruelling events you can play. Six rounds, 108 holes with some many big names and young talent and there are just 25 cards. Besides physical, it was also a mental battle.
“The Asian Tour has been my home Tour and my status was ending there also as I have been playing in Europe, so getting a card was very important. I am glad I could make it. I will now play some events left in Asian Tour to keep my status there also.”
Over six days, Chawrasia had 24 birdies, a hole-in-one and seven bogeys and one double bogey. He was one of the only three players to have five or more rounds in 60s. The winner of the honours was Benjamin Poke, who completed an emphatic six-stroke victory as 28 players earned European Tour cards.
The Dane, who led from the second round, was in complete control throughout the marathon test, breaking 70 each day to post rounds of 67-67-69-67-69-64 and seal victory ahead of three-time European Tour winner Gregory Havret, who came second on 19-under par. A total of 1063 players started from stage one and the final stage witnessed 156 players.
Lahiri to feature in RSM Classic
Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri, who had to go through the Korn Ferry Final Series to get back his PGA Tour card, will tee off against Peter Malnati and Ben Martin in the opening round of The RSM Classic at Sea Island Resort in Georgia. Lahiri will get his last chance to take advantage of a massive fall segment of the season end with the 11th event of the week.
A mix of injury and lack of form has witnessed three missed cuts and one withdrawal from Lahiri in five starts. This week at the The RSM Classic at Sea Island Resort in Georgia, Lahiri plays with Malnati and Martin in the opening round at the Plantation course.
Lahiri is currently ranked 374th, the lowest since April 2011, just before his first pro win at the Panasonic Open India. The RSM Classic features two courses, the Seaside and Plantation, which will witness 156 players in the final Tour event before the holiday break.
The player in focus this week will be Brendon Todd, winner of the last two events, and is now gunning for three in a row. No one has done that since 2006 when Tiger Woods achieved the feat.