Cormac Sharvin’s hopes of retaining his full playing privileges to the European Tour at this week’s AVIV Dubai Championship are no more after testing positive for Covid-19.
The Ardglass man, who missed the cut last week in Portugal, was delivered a double-blow with news he’d tested positive for the virus, meaning missing out on the last regular season event on the European Tour calendar and thus the top-122 who get their full cards for next year.
It’s not all bad news for the 29-year old, however, as consolation can be found in the European Tour’s new ‘Safety Net’ system which means Sharvin will retain some status ahead of the next campaign.
Sharvin will be determined to bounce back stronger after a year that promised so much failed to deliver. Ranked 168th on the Race to Dubai standings, Sharvin landed his biggest cheque of the season (€31,700) in a tie for 21st at the Saudi International all the way back in February.
That leaves just two Irish in Thursday’s starting field with Padraig Harrington just eight spots outside the top-50 who will advance to the DP World Tour Championship.
Harrington leaped 10 places to 58th on the Race to Dubai money list following a last day effort worth €22,563 at the Portugal Masters where he tied-12th behind Belgium’s Thomas Pieters who skips this week following his Dom Pedro win.
“My result this week is a step up the mountain towards the top-50 for Dubai,” Harrington said. “It’s obviously not enough as I think I needed a top six or so, so maybe two shots better but it leaves me less work to do this coming week.
“It was a good back nine there with the eagle on 12 especially after I weathered the storm on the front nine. I double bogeyed the seventh and didn’t play the eighth or ninth very well. So it was nice to settle down and make some birdies.”
Joining Harrington this week in Dubai will be Clandeboye’s Jonathan Caldwell who signed-off for a last round of 68, his best of the week, to share 26th place at seven-under par in Portugal.
Caldwell, who earned a two-year Tour exemption earlier this year for his win in Sweden, has dropped one place to 98th on the Race to Dubai.
Leading Irish Race to Dubai Standings
- 18 – Shane Lowry
- 20 – Rory McIlroy
- 58 – Padraig Harrington
- 98 – Jonathan Caldwell
- 134 – Niall Kearney
- 168 – Cormac Sharvin