Matteo Manassero faces an uncertain future after missing the 72-hole cut at the final stage of European Tour Qualifying School.
The 25-year-old Italian was one of the notables to miss out on the last two rounds. Former Augusta State player Oliver Wilson was another casualty. Canada’s Austin Connelly also failed to advance.
England’s Daniel Gavins leads at 20 under, one shot ahead of France’s Clement Sordet, who played college golf at Texas Tech. Spain’s David Borda and Anton Karlsson of Sweden are three shots off the pace in third. Kurt Kitayama, who played college golf at UNLV, shares fifth with France’s Romain Langasque, who made the cut at the 2017 Masters, at 16 under.
“I’ve come through Q-School before and I know I can do it again,” said Gavins, who earned his European Tour card at the 2015 Qualifying School.
Manassero returned scores of 70-68-76-73 at Lumine Golf Club in Tarragona, Spain to sit at 1 over, seven shots away from the top 70 and ties who advanced to the final two rounds. The four-time winner finished 122nd on this year’s money list after the Andalucia Valderrama Masters, six spots short of keeping his card.
His Category 18 status means he goes to the bottom of the pecking order next year. He’ll struggle to get into big-money events, instead playing in low budget tournaments like the Mauritius Open, Joburg Open and Belgian Knockout. He’ll have to play exceptionally in those tournaments to have any chance of regaining his card for the 2020 season. Alternatively, he could try to find his way back to the main tour by finishing inside the Challenge Tour top 15 next season.
Wilson played a full schedule on this year’s Challenge Tour. He finished 17th on the order of merit, two places from a full season on next year’s European Tour.
The 2008 Ryder Cup player missed the 72-hole cut of 6 under by four shots. A third-round 75 after scores of 71-68 put paid to the Englishman’s chances of playing all six rounds. A 1-under 70 in the fourth round wasn’t good enough to advance.
Connelly, who was born and still resides in Texas but claims Canadian citizenship through his parents, tied with Manassero in 117th place. He added a 74 to three straight 71s.
The top 25 and ties after round six will earns cards for the 2019 European Tour season.