It’s a cauldron of pressure like few others in golf. After surviving until the final stage of Q-School, 156 players compete in six grueling rounds in an effort to earn some kind of prestige on the DP World Tour. For whoever makes it, the reward is great. For those who missed it, it can be bittersweet to swallow a pill.
field this year in Infinitum courses at lakes and hills In Spain, it was a usual mix of expats looking to take the next step in what could be a world-beating career and former household names who, for one reason or another, have seen their careers falter.
Not everyone can successfully parlay four Tours, so here we take a look at some of the big names who didn’t hit the 72-hole mark in this year’s DP World Tour qualifying school.
Gonzalo Fernandez Castano
The Spaniard won seven times on what was formerly the European Tour between 2005 and 2013, but has struggled for form since an unlucky switch to the PGA Tour in 2014. At Q-School this year, rounds of 72, 66, 76 and 68 saw him lose a shot One about joining the 72 players who made the pentathlon.
Joining Fernandez Castano in the V-4 was Scotsman Stephen Gallacher. The former Ryder Cooper suffered a wrist injury in 2014 that hit him at what was probably the worst time of his career and left doctors with no choice but to cut out the aggravated portion of the tendon. However, a change of style was required and he has never been the same golfer who captured back-to-back Dubai Desert Classic titles in 2013 and 14 since.
a Winning the 2019 Hero Indian Open tournament It was a reminder of the talent he has but he wasn’t able to show it during his four days in Tarragona, Spain. He gave himself a glimpse of progress with a seven-under 64 on the third day but failed to build on that momentum and came off a par-shy courtesy of a par-72.
A true blast from the past, Simon Dyson made a flying five-under 66 start at the Lakes Course. Two Par-72s at Hills weren’t disastrous, but the Lakes’ 73-back shutout included two double bogeys that spurred his hopes of returning to the tour, which he won six times between 2006 and 2011.
The final Q-School stage this year also proved to be a step too far for Gregory Bourdy, who gave himself a mountain to climb twice through 36 holes. To his credit, he recovered well to claim third overall, but the damage had already been done to the French four-time DP World Tour winner.
From one French Gregory to another, Havret would make a final round 76 that left him adrift four shots from the magic marker at a one-under-one. After recovering from the opening No. 75, four bogeys and 14 pars sealed the fate of the three-time DP World Tour winner and former US Open runner-up.
Ireland’s Paul Dunne rose to relative fame as an amateur with his performance at the 2015 Open Championship at St Andrews, where he shared the lead with Jason Day and Louis Oosthuizen Heading into the final round on Sunday. A struggling ninth-place finish saw him slip out of contention, but many were tipping him to establish himself among the European elite when he joined the professional ranks later that year.
He picked up his only DP World Tour win to date at the 2017 British Masters and was as high as 65th in the world rankings until 2018. His consistent loss of form since then has now left him outside the top 1300 and he only had a few smiles at Q -School this year.
Opening rounds of 74 and 72 put him out of contention and his level score meant he was bowled out early.
A well-known name in most golf venues, David Howell I had another crack at Q-School this year. Winner of five DP World Tour events, including the 2005 HSBC Champions in which he was killed Tiger woodis now a regular Sky Sports Golf analyst but is clearly still hoping to regain his full position.
He joined Celtic Manor’s 700 squad this year but didn’t have much to cheer in Spain this week, with his four-over-nine total being too big to qualify for the last two rounds.
A brilliant golfer to watch at full capacity, a wrist injury in 2012 seemed to derail Alvaro Quiros’ career. Once in the periphery of the top 20, he is now ranked outside the top 700 and has not been able to produce the goods in his home country to regain his card.
A total of four out of five tours means chances to add to his seven DP World Tour titles will be few and far between for the 39-year-old in 2023.