Staysure Tour Qualifying School will be contested at Pestana Golf Resort from January 28-31 and we have crunched the numbers ahead of the season’s pre-cursor.
1 – Only one player to earn their card at Q-School has gone on to top the Order of Merit in the same season. American Clark Dennis, who fell short on his quest to clinch a card in 2016, returned to Qualifying School in 2017 and managed to get his hands on one of the five Staysure Tour spots on offer. In addition to winning the Senior Italian Open presented by Villaverde Resort and the Dutch Masters, Dennis secured a further six top tens as he became the first American to win the John Jacobs Trophy.
2 – Two of last year’s Qualifying School graduates went on to win Staysure Tour events in 2018. Englishmen David Shacklady and Paul Streeter both finished in the top five in Portugal last year – Shacklady having lost in a play-off in 2016 – and earned their playing rights for 2018. Shacklady secured his maiden triumph at the VTB Russian Open Golf Championship (Senior) before Streeter joined him in the winner’s circle just a fortnight later as he triumphed at the Travis Perkins Masters. The latter, who turned professional at 31 years old, became a two-time winner with victory at the Costa Blanca Benidorm Senior Golf Masters, beating Miguel Ángel Jiménez in a play-off.
3 – The number of courses Qualifying School will be played at this year. First Stage Qualifying was played at Gramacho Golf and Silves Golf at Pestana Golf Resort, before Final Stage is contested at Vale da Pinta, also part of Pestana Golf Resort.
4 – Despite the majority of Staysure Tour events being contested over three rounds, Final Stage Qualifying will be played over 72 holes. The entire field will play the first 54, before a cut is made ahead of the final round where those within eight shots of fifth place will battle for one of the five cards.
5 – Only five cards are up for grabs at Final Stage Qualifying. In comparison to European Tour Qualifying School, where the top 25 and ties earn their playing privileges for 2019, only the top five players will earn a card for the 2019 Staysure Tour season. And it will be strictly five who make it – anyone finishing in a tie will contest a hole-by-hole play-off until five remain.
9 – Over par, the opening round for last year’s winner Rafael Gomez. The Argentine’s hopes of a successful week were in tatters after an opening 80, but he responded with rounds of 66-65-66 to finish four shots clear of second-placed John Kemp at the conclusion of Q-School.
108 – Anyone progressing through First Stage and all four rounds of Final Stage will complete 108 holes in total, with First Stage being played across 36 holes while Final Stage encompasses 72 holes.