Khan offers optimism to Euro Q-Schoolers
Monday, February 14, 2011
No wonder the European Tour does pretty good business out of the European Tour Qualifying School. Considering the money on offer in Europe, it’s no wonder there are plenty willing to take a shot at jumping on the Euro Tour gravy train.
One hundred and fifty six players will tee it up Dec. 4 at PGA Golf Catalunya Resort in Girona, Spain, hoping for one of the 30 cards on offer for the 2011 Tour. All it takes is six good rounds and you can make a fortune.
Of course, many have been through eight rounds already, at Stage 1 and Stage 2. The road to success is not short for some.
A card at the school can lead to untold riches. England’s Simon Khan is proof of that. He had to return to the Q-School last year after a dismal 2009 season.
Khan emerged top of the class. Six months later he performed so well that he doesn’t have to worry about Q-School for a while. He won the BMW PGA Championship, the European Tour’s flagship event, earned €750,000 and a five-year exemption.
For every Khan there’s a Scott Drummond. He won the 2004 BMW PGA Championship. His five years ran out this year and he’s back at the school. The English-born Scot earned €908,018 in 2004, €625,000 from the Tour’s marquee event.
Over the last five years Drummond hasn’t come close to earning the money he made in 2004. He’s picked up €703,708 over the last five seasons combined. This year he was 191st on the money list with €49,040.
The 36-year-old is one of a number of former winners at this year’s school. Andrew Coltart, Anton Haig, Jarmo Sandelin, Joakim Haeggman, Markus Brier, Marc Warren, Alastair Forsyth, Jean-Francois Lucquin, Emanuele Canonica and Paul Broadhurst are just some of the former tour winners teeing it up at the school. Broadhurst and Coltart are also ex-Ryder Cup players.
Former Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup players include Lloyd Saltman, Jamie Elson, Colm Moriarty, Stuart Manley, Niall Kearney and Sam Hutsby.
Julien Guerrier, the long-hitting 2006 British Amateur Champion, is one of many top class French players in the field. The others are Romain Wattel, Benjamin Hebert, Alexander Kaleka and Victor Dubuisson.
Three US players will try to earn tickets to the 2011 Euro Tour. Former Oklahoma State player Trent Leon, Northwestern alumni Scott Harrington and Jason Knutzon, once of Iowa State, will vie for cards alongside players from every corner of the globe.
Entry fee for the Euro Q-School is €1,350. As Khan proved, it could be a shrewd investment. On the other hand, it could be a complete waste of money.
The European Q School ends December 9. There is a four-round cut, with the top 70 and ties getting through to the last two rounds.