Oliver Wilson talks possibility of regaining Euro Tour card at Qatar Masters

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Oliver Wilson talks possibility of regaining Euro Tour card at Qatar Masters

Euro Tour

Oliver Wilson talks possibility of regaining Euro Tour card at Qatar Masters

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Oliver Wilson could be just 36 holes from regaining his European Tour card. The Englishman is one shot off the halfway lead in the $1.75 million Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.

The former Augusta State player carded a 4-under-par second round 68 to reach 7-under, just one shot off the lead held by South Africans George Coetzee and Justin Hardin and Mike Lorenzo-Vera of France.

Wilson got into contention with his second bogey free round following an opening 69.

The 38-year-old is fortunate to be playing. He was an alternate when he booked his flights to Doha, but got into the field as the last exempt player.

Wilson’s story is a seminal lesson that whatever golf giveth it can also taketh away.

The man from Mansfield, England turned professional after a stellar amateur career that saw him star for Augusta State and play on the victorious 2003 Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup team. Nine second place finishes, including four playoff losses, between 2006 and 2009 signaled he wasn’t far from a European Tour win. A place in the 2008 European Ryder Cup team only backed up his standing as future winner.

However, Wilson lost his card in 2011. He reclaimed it three years later by winning the 2014 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. What should have been a stepping stone to further success was just a slippery step to mediocrity. By 2016, he was off the main tour.

Two years on the European Challenge Tour appeared to be paying off last season when he entered that circuit’s final tournament with a chance to finish inside the top 15 on the money list to earn his ticket back to the main tour. He finished 17th.

He’s playing a skeleton schedule this year because he doesn’t have full status, which means playing in lower ranked events. He’s made the most of it so far. He finished third in the South African Open and fifth in the Alfred Dunhill Championship and stands 45th on the money list. He needs to finish inside the top 110 at the end of the year to regain his card. Or he could win this week.

He’s made the best possible start but is under no illusions about the challenge he faces this season.

“It’s hard not to put pressure on yourself,” Wilson said. “It’s a different position when you can plan a schedule and know you have 25 or 30 events or even more if you need to, you can be a bit more patientI don’t have that, I don’t know how many events I’m going to get in.
“I know there’s enough for me to get the job done and have a very good year.

“I’m really pleased with what I’ve done in the last year. I’m moving in the right direction and getting more confidence in my game. There’s still a long way to go. I’m just trying to improve and hopefully the results will come and, at the end of the year, I can look back, be pleased, and have a schedule for next year.”

Another good 36 holes will take care of the rest of this season and 2020.

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