14th November 2015 | IGT Challenge Tour
Palmer primed for Euro Q-School Test
GIRONA, Spain (14 November 2015) –Four-time IGT Tour champion Michael Palmer leads a strong South African challenge chasing the European Tour dream in theQualifying School Final Stage that starts at the PGA Catalunya Resort in Girona, Spain today.
The Bryanston golfer crossed the first hurdle in golf’s ultimate test when he claimed an eighth place finish at First Stage in September.
Last month, he sewed up his fourth IGT Tour victory in the Race to Q-School, presented by RAW Golf School at Houghton Golf Club and a week later, fired rounds of 70, 68, 67 and73 to race to a third place finish in the Second Stage Qualifier in Valencia, Spain.
Having battled his way through the opening stages of the gruelling marathon, the 25-year-old hopes to come out on the winning side of the six-round examination and finish inside the top 25 and ties that will earn their place among Europe’s elite.
“Hopefully it’s another good week,” Palmer said.
“The first qualifier was really tough, because I didn’t know exactly what to expect. I think I put too much pressure on myself in the first round. I just talked myself into letting my game happen and I was really pleased with the way I handled myself in a high pressure situation.
“I enjoyed the second qualifier a lot more. You just have to try to limit your mistakes, but you can’t go off the deep end if you miss a few. You just have to keep focussed and try to turn things around.”
Palmer will join IGT Tour graduate Haydn Porteous, 17-time Sunshine Tour winner Jean Hugo, fellow Sunshine Tour champions Danie van Tonder, Dean Burmester, Justin Walters and Ulrich van den Berg and KwaZulu-Natal’s Darren Lloyd.
Porteous won the Bobby Locke Trophy as the leading rookie on the Sunshine Tour in 2014 and came agonisingly close to securing a card for the 2016 European Tour on the Challenge Tour this season.
He won in the Kenya Open in April and kept him in touch with the leading players on the Road to Oman rankings with top fives in the Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge and Northern Ireland Open and a tie for sixth in the Rolex Trophy.
Porteous was in good shape heading into the season-ending NBO Golf Classic Grand Final last week, however he slipped to 20th in the final rankings after a tie for 36th to miss out on the top 15, who automatically qualified for the main Tour next year.
Burmester and Hugo also arrived in Spain carrying some hot form.
Burmester reeled in his fourth victory of the season at the Vodacom Origins event at Koro Creek Country Club in October, while Hugo took his 11th title in the Vodacom Origins series in the Vaal de Grace event in September.
A total of 26 different countries are represented at Final Stage this year and the South African contingent will have to contend with 32 former European Tour winners in the 156-strong field, who share 58 titles among them, including former Ryder Cup player Eduardo Molinari from Italy.