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Grantown golf star is keen to stay in school

By Gavin Musgrove

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Duncan Stewart, Qualifying School, PGA European Tour, European Tour, PGA Challenge Tour, Challenge Tour, Golf
Duncan Stewart, Qualifying School, PGA European Tour, European Tour, PGA Challenge Tour, Challenge Tour, Golf

GRANTOWN golf star Duncan Stewart is still on course to rescue his season after progressing to the final round of Qualifying School for the PGA European Tour.

The 34-year-old was delighted with his final round which saw him make the cut for the top 25 finishers and hopes to carry this form into the weekend.

Stewart carded rounds of 71, 69, 67 and 68 for a combined 275 to finish two shots inside the mark with the top 23 players at Las Colinas Golf & Country Club progressing.

He told the Strathy: "I shot level the first round and really didn't play that well but saved my score and my chance of qualifying with some great up and downs as well as some good putts.

"I played a bit better in round two shooting two under then rode my luck a couple of times in round three but played very solid to shoot four under playing the par 5s very well.

"But I saved the best for last as I knew if I shot under par then I would qualify.

"I played awesome tee to green plotting my way round and staying patient.

"I hit 13 of 14 fairways and 17 out of 18 greens bogey free and shot three under and it was job done."

Stewart has headed north where the final stage of PGA Q School starts on Saturday over two courses at Lumine Golf Club by Tarragona.

The format is that 150 qualifiers compete over six rounds with the top 25 gaining European Tour cards for 2019. There's a cut after four rounds for the top 70 and ties.

Stewart said: "If I can continue to play how I did earlier this week I'm very confident I will have a great chance of finishing inside the top 25."

Stewart played on the PGA European Tour in 2017 but missed out on keeping his playing rights despite some performances which showed he can compete at the highest level.

But this past season on the European Tour his form has been marred by inconsistencies.

He has been shooting some excellent low scores but has found it hard to put a run of four together at the same tournament.

In the end the Grantown man finished 80th on the Challenge Tour's Order of Merit which will get him into 80 to 90 per cent of the events on the circuit next season.

But the coming week at Lumine represents a fantastic opportunity for Stewart to make the step again – although as a regular at Q School he fully appreciates that a very stern test lies ahead with little room for an off day.

The final stage of Qualifying School is an arduous process with play set to continue right through until next Friday to determine who will join the top flight of the PGA in Europe.

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