Dougherty falls short in attempt at Euro comeback
Nick Dougherty’s hopes of a European Tour comeback came to a painful end today when he missed the 72-hole cut in the Final Stage of European Tour Qualifying School in Girona, Spain.
The three-time European Tour winner crashed out after rounds of 80, 73, 77 and 74 for a four-round total of 20-over 304. He missed the final two rounds by 18 shots. The cut fell at 2-over par, with the top 70 and ties advancing for a chance at one of 25 European Tour cards for 2013.
England’s Andy Sullivan shares the 72-hole lead with Argentina’s Estanislao Goya at 12 under, one shot ahead of five players tied for third. Sullivan, a member of last year’s victorious Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup team, returned a 3-under 69 to join overnight leader Goya at the top of the leaderboard.
Germany’s Moritz Lampert, No. 19 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, is among those players who are one shot behind the leaders. He was the only amateur to make the 72-hole cut.
Among those who will play the final two rounds are veteran Scottish player Gary Orr, a two-time European Tour winner and former Augusta State player Oliver Wilson. A member of the 2008 European Ryder Cup team, Wilson made the cut by two shots with a fourth-round 2-under 70. He is T-56..
Former Stanford player Dodge Kemmer returned a 6-under 66 to move up 37 places and into the last two rounds. He is one of only two Americans to make the cut, along with Chan Kim. Gary Boyd, a protégé of Ian Poulter, fired a 5-under 67 to give himself a chance at returning to the European Tour. He made the 2-over par cut on the number and is T-68.
Dougherty wasn’t the only notable player to miss the cut. Former Oklahoma State player and college No. 1 Pablo Martin withdrew after three rounds after scores of 81, 69 and 77. The three-time European Tour winner faces a season on next year’s European Challenge Tour, with limited starts on the main tour.
South Africa’s Anton Haig also withdrew after three rounds. Haig was widely expected to become the next great South African after winning the 2007 Johnnie Walker Classic. However, injuries hampered his progress. He is back to full health but obviously his game is not where it was five years ago.
Veterans Jarmo Sandelin and Paul Broadhurst, former Ryder Cup players, also missed the 72-hole cut. Other veteran European Tour winners Kenneth Ferrie and Scott Drummond also missed out.
Among the young guns who failed to advance were former East Tennessee State and two-time Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup player Rhys Davies. He returned a fourth-round 78 to miss by two shots.
South African Dylan Frittelli, a former Texas player, also fell two shots short of the last two rounds. Talented Dutch player Daan Huizing finished on the same score to miss out.
Peter Uihlein made his first trip to Q-School but missed the cut by six shots despite two consecutive rounds of 70. Opening rounds of 75 and 77 hurt the 2010 U.S. Amateur champion’s chances. He faces another season on the European Challenge Tour after finishing 26th on that tour’s money list this year.
Englishman Warren Bennett, winner of the 1999 Scottish PGA Championship, was also trying to make a comeback. However, a fourth-round 76 from the 41-year-old caused him to miss the cut by four strokes.