Golf Comment: Keeping tour card is like winning lottery

Sam Torrance
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David Drysdale secured his European Tour card for next season at the Perth International
HE MAY not have walked away with the trophy or the £155,000 first prize, but David Drysdale will have felt like the biggest winner at the Perth International on Sunday.

Like a handful of others, the Scot went into the tournament knowing it was his last chance to secure his European Tour card for next season.

His attempt went down to his final putt of the year, but that 30-footer earned him a birdie, a tie for fourth and, with it, a crucial lift in the money list.

That is like winning the lottery for a professional.

England’s Matthew Nixon also just did enough in Australia to finish in the top 111 in the Race to Dubai – the cut-off point for retaining a tour card.

He and Drysdale must have been through months of turmoil, not knowing whether they would keep their places on the circuit.

It doesn’t matter how old you are, keeping your card is a huge relief. Instead of thinking about going to qualifying school, where the last remaining cards are handed out, they can look forward to starting afresh next year. That is like having a jail sentence quashed.

The other side of the coin is that some players must fall short.

Korean Shiwan Kim was in a great position to snatch his tour card in Perth but had a poor final round, including a triple-bogey eight and further dropped shots at two of the last three holes, and missed out. I have to say I really felt for him.

Also toasting success in Perth was Thorbjorn Olesen, after the talented Dane landed the second European Tour title of his career with a threestroke win despite Victor Dubuisson’s final-round charge.

His closing round was a little erratic but that’s to be expected. It’s a tough course, and sometimes its just about doing enough to get your nose over the line. On the whole, he played beautifully all week.

Olesen was in my Seve Trophy team last year and I was very impressed. He has one of those swings that is a pleasure to watch. This was his first title for two years but he’s still only 24, which is very young. Not everyone can be Rory McIlroy.

Sam Torrance OBE is a multiple Ryder Cup-winning golfer and media commentator. Follow him on Twitter @torrancesam

Time of season for Dubuisson

NOW the dust has settled following the Ryder Cup, it’s time for golf’s biggest names to return to action for the European Tour’s four-tournament Finals Series.

It starts this week with the BMW Masters in Shanghai, and reaches its climax at the end of next month with the big-money DP World Tour Championship.

Because many of the players have been taking time out since Gleneagles, it’s hard to know who will have retained their form for the final leg of the season.

One man who could be in contention is Victor Dubuisson, who made his breakthrough almost 12 months ago by winning the Turkish Airlines Open and, with that tournament again on the horizon, finished second in Perth on Sunday.

I never knew why, but I always used to play well in August, and other players have similar purple patches at different times of year.

In the same way, it may be that this is when the Frenchman tends to hit peak form.