Former NCAA champ headlines players earning Euro Tour cards at Q-School

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Former NCAA champ headlines players earning Euro Tour cards at Q-School

Euro Tour

Former NCAA champ headlines players earning Euro Tour cards at Q-School

Alejandro Canizares will celebrate fatherhood by taking his place back where he belongs: on the European Tour.

The 35-year-old Spaniard finished top of the leaderboard with South Africa’s Zander Lombard as 27 players earned cards for the 2019 European Tour after six rounds of the European Tour Qualifying School at Lumine Golf Club in Tarragona, Spain.

Canizares and Lombard headed the pack on 24 under, one shot ahead of former UNLV player Kurt Kitayama and Denmark’s Jeff Winther.

Former Arizona State player and 2003 NCAA champion Canizares is a two-time European Tour winner.

“It was difficult for me, it’s been a weird two years coming over here and I couldn’t be happier,” Canizares said. “My future wife is pregnant and I’m going to be a father soon. There’s many good things happening at the moment.

“I knew my golf was there, it just wasn’t happening the last two years. I had a couple of injuries, some personal things and golf wasn’t happening.

“Now, all those things are gone, and I can just play and focus on my game and get the confidence back hopefully.”

Lombard’s main claim to fame is finishing runner-up in the 2014 British Amateur Championship to Scotland’s Bradley Neil. He’s had a better professional career than Neil, but is still struggling to gain a foothold amongst Europe’s elite.

“I shouldn’t have been here in the first place, but to come out strong and prove myself to be on the Tour, it’s really amazing,” said Lombard, who has two European seconds in three European Tour seasons.

“I’ve usually had a lazy first half to the season, but I’m going to try to do things differently this year and play as much as I can early in the year and try to get the numbers up early. I’m going to play four weeks on the trot and then four weeks back home at the beach with a few cocktails.”

Scotland’s Marc Warren was among the 27 graduates. The three-time European Tour winner took the 19th card.

“It is the first time I have been in contention for a card and I really underestimated how tough it is,” Warren said.

“You have no idea what you need to do and you have try and keep moving forward while trying not to make mistakes at the same time.

“It’s not a pleasant way to play golf but obviously there is a reward at the end of it.”

Other notable graduates included 2015 and 2016 British Amateur champions Romain Langasque and Scott Gregory, and two-time Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cupper and former Alabama player Gavin Moynihan of Ireland.

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