New Mexico alum John Catlin takes early lead at Euro Tour Q School

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New Mexico alum John Catlin takes early lead at Euro Tour Q School

Euro Tour

New Mexico alum John Catlin takes early lead at Euro Tour Q School

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New Mexico graduate John Catlin will take a one-shot lead into the second round of the final stage of the European Tour Qualifying School after returning a bogey-free 6-under 65 over the Lakes Course at Lumine Golf Club in Tarragona, Spain.

Catlin needs another five good rounds to take one of the 25 cards on offer for the 2020 European Tour season.

“It’s only one of six rounds and it’s definitely a nice way to start, but there’s still a long way to go,” the Sacramento native said.

The 29-year-old switches to the Hills Course for Round 2. Catlin is in good form after winning last week’s Thailand Open on the Asian Tour.

“Winning my fourth title on the Asian Tour and to win in Thailand where I’ve been living for the past three years was a great feeling. I know if I can take care of what I can take care of then I’ve got every chance of contending, and I’ve given myself the best chance possible.”

Catlin is keen to find a permanent home on the European Tour after honing his skills in Europe. In 21 starts this year, Catlin made 13 cuts with a best finish of 12th in the Made in Denmark tournament. However, he finished the season 155th on the Race to Dubai.

“It’s been absolutely fantastic to compete in Europe,” Catlin said. “It’s made me a better golfer for sure. You can see the difference coming from the Asian Tour to the European Tour which is the next step up and the margin of error is just that much smaller.”

Spain’s Alejandro Canizares is one of a group of six in second place. Canizares, who won the 2003 NCAA individual title while at Arizona State, returned a 5-under 66.

France’s Gregory Havret is tied for eighth at 4 under after a 68. Havret, runner up to Graeme McDowell in the 2010 U.S. Open, is a three-time European Tour winner.

Matteo Manassero’s travails continued with an opening 78. The four-time European Tour winner sits in 155th place, next-to-last out of the 156-man field.

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