Inner strength, talent, and gruelling are just some of the things you can associate with the PGA EuroPro Tour Qualifying School supported by Sky Sports which gets underway for 2021 at five venues across the country for the first stage from Monday (September, 28).
Playing rights and a place at the final stage are on the line at Mannings Heath Golf and Wine Estate, Donnington Grove, Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf and Spa, Formby Hall Golf Resort & Hotel, and The Players Club.
A battle from start to finish it will start with two rounds before players either find out their category or advance to the final stage across three days at Studley Wood Golf Club and The Oxfordshire a few weeks later.
Categories are given to every member who enters Qualifying School, therefore, giving them playing rights for 2021. The better players perform, the better the category they receive. Giving them a better opportunity of playing the full schedule.
The Qualifying School presented by Sky Sports merely acts as a way of ranking all of the members which is important when the final field for a tournament is to be decided.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 season was canceled and with that Q School for 2021 was brought to September and October giving players the perfect opportunity to set themselves up for a full year ahead.
Mannings Heath Golf and Wine Estate – (29th and 30th September) – COMPLETE
Mannings Heath plays host to The Nokia Masters in the regular season and this will be the first time the Sussex venue hosts Qualifying School.
Teeing off before any other qualifying, Mannings Heath will offer a stern test
Amateur Charlie Strickland will be used to the surroundings having played in the 2018 Nokia Masters whilst the field will be one of the most diverse at Q School with ten different nationalities featuring. 29 players will have the opportunity to progress.
Winner – David Hague
Formby Hall Golf Resort & Hotel – (30th September and 1st October) – COMPLETE
Formby Hall is a place the Tour knows very well with one of the best moments in the last ten years coming from the Merseyside venue as home favourite Tommy Fleetwood clinched his first professional title on the tour in 2011.
John Henry, the recent Scottish Par 3 champion, will be looking to continue his good form and earn his place back on the Tour having competed on it over the last few years.
Of the field, 28 will move forwards to The Oxfordshire and Studley Wood.
Winner – Harrison Proos
Donnington Grove – (6th, 7th October)
Donnington Grove is one of the longer courses at Qualifying School and it can be anything but predictable. The course is part of a 500-acre estate with Donnington Grove Castle looking over the course. Last year’s order of merit winner Mikael Lundberg prevailed the last time we were at the Oxfordshire venue.
Arrun Singh Brar competed at Tulfarris last summer finishing inside the top 20 so will he make his mark at Q School in the coming weeks? Whilst, Matty Lamb competed as an amateur and played well in The Motocaddy Masters last year. A top 28 place finish at Donnington Grove would see them move to the final stage.
Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa – (6th, 7th October)
Luton Hoo will host the season curtain-raiser come May 2021, a destination many competing will hope to be, but can they tackle two days and make the cut for final stage qualifying? The course is infamous for having no bunkers, but that makes it harder rather than easier some may say.
Baily Gill has a winning formula after triumphing out on the Mena Tour over last winter and could well be the one to watch in Bedfordshire come October, 6.
28 players will get the opportunity to progress to the final stage if they perform well enough.
The Players Club – (6th, 7th October)
The Players Club is a European Tour Qualifying School venue and it could be a taste of what’s to come for many. Stretching over 7,106 yards, fairways can go one of two ways either opening up eagle chances with a good roll and carry or the ball disappearing into the abyss.
Haider Hussain carries amateur pedigree having won The Berkshire Trophy in 2019, a trophy once won by PGA EuroPro Tour alumni Eddie Pepperell.
There are 25 qualifying spots on offer to advance to the final stage at the Bristol venue.
All players will be given hand sanitiser upon arrival at their relative venues. We ask all to bring relevant PPE with them (masks etc). Sanitisation stations will also be available on the first and tenth tees. A self-declaration form is distributed in due course to all players ahead of playing the opening stage. Venues are players only with no caddies/friends/family allowed on site.