NEIL FENWICK’S European Tour dream is still alive after the Capital star survived his “toughest day of the year on a golf course”.
Joining him in the final of the Qualifying School this weekend after also coming through a nerve-wracking second stage in Spain is fellow Edinburgh-based player Gareth Wright.
Fenwick, who was on Dunfermline’s books before turning to golf, headed into the final round at El Saler sitting joint-third at the Valencia venue.
He slipped to a share of tenth after a closing 78 in a buffeting wind on the south-east Spanish coast but still made the all-important top 17 comfortably enough on one-over.
“I probably had the toughest day of my year on a golf course, but I battled hard and managed to get through,” said Fenwick. “The wind has been blowing about 30mph the last two days and to get the job done was very pleasing.”
Wright also finished joint-tenth at Las Colinas in Alicante, where the West Linton-attached player described the final-round conditions as “brutal”.
He signed off with a 70 to finish on five-under and now heads straight to PGA Catalunya in Girona along with Fenwick to prepare for the six-round final test starting on Saturday.
Archerfield ace Lloyd Saltman missed out on a play-off at El Saler by three shots after a closing 75, with Baberton’s Paul Ferrier a further shot back at the same venue after a 76.
For another Lothians player, Raymond Russell, the second-stage test was extended by a day due to high winds at Lumine Golf in Tarragona. The former Cannes Open champion headed into the final round there today lying joint-seventh alongside Team Scottish Hydro member Jack Doherty on eight-under – four off the lead.
Definitely joining Fenwick and Wright in Girona is Fifer George Murray, who qualified along with the former at El Saler after a closing 73 lifted him into a tie for eighth.
Exempt into the final stage are six Scots – Scott Henry, Andrew McArthur, Scott Drummond, Duncan Stewart, Alastair Forsyth and Doug McGuigan.
Players qualifying for the final two rounds there are guaranteed at least a Challenge Tour card, with the top 30 securing tickets for the main Tour.