It’s a young man’s game as DPWT Final Qualifying is revealing in Spain

Bernie McGuire

Oliver Fisher is one of the old guard who won't be on Tour in 2024 (Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images)

Bernie McGuire

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Ah, it’s a young man’s game.  A phrase used often in golf and one I use to describe what is again unfolding at this week’s DP World Tour Final Stage qualifying in Spain.

Of the leading 11 players heading to Tuesday’s fifth of six rounds at the Infinitum club, all bar three are in their 20s, with one player, England-born amateur Joshua Berry aged 18 and the other two in their 30s.

Overall, of the 78-players to make Monday’s fourth round cut there are a handful of players in their 40s who still have the chance of finishing top-25 tomorrow (Wednesday) and regain full 2024 DP World Tour status.  They include past Tour winners in Frenchman Gregory Bourdy, who is aged 41 and Scotland’s four-time Tour winner Marc Warren who is a year older than Bourdy.

44-year-old Englishman Richard McEvoy and 40-year-old South African Thomas Aiken, though each well down the board, are also still in with the chance of regaining main tour status.

Taking a look at those who missed the cut, there are five players who will not be seen full-time next season on the DP World Tour and they include the likes of Frenchman Gregory Havret, England’s Ollie Fisher – the Tour’s only player to shoot 59 – along with fellow Brit David Howell, who currently chairs the board representing the players, and also Spain’s Alvaro Quiros.

Havret, 46, posted at one-under tally, four shots shy of making the cut. 40-year-old Quiros was at one-over, Fisher, 35, signed for a five-over total, 48-year-old Howell was cut at seven-over while a second Spaniard, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, aged 43, retired after three rounds.

You could argue players like Havret, aged in their late-40s, are just awaiting their 50th birthdays and the chance to join the Legends or Champions Tours, but there’s Scotland’s David Drysdale, aged 48, who lost his DPWT card last year but bit the bullet and earned his Asian Tour card and is set to retain ’24 season membership with three events remaining on the Asian Tour schedule.

Looking at the DP World Tour and the leading 116 players on this year’s Race To Dubai, and those regularly competing on the Tour (Not including Padraig Harrington aged 52), and the oldest is the current pair of 43-year-old’s in Oliver Wilson and Justin Rose, while a third Englishman, 42-year-old Ross Fisher, dramatically sealed the 116th and final card for the ’24 season last week.

And in speaking of Havret, let me share some memories of this great French golfer.

In 2007, Havret shocked the golfing world and Phil Mickelson in defeating ‘Lefty’ in a play-off for the Barclays Scottish Open crown along the shorelines of Loch Lomond.

Three years later, the affable Frenchman found himself in the penultimate pairing on the final day alongside Tiger Woods at the 2010 US Open at Pebble Beach.  Woods went into day four sharing third place with Havret a shot back in fourth.

Of course, playing a final round of any tournament let alone a major championship, you’d assume there would not be much talking among players and this even more the case when your final day partner has already captured three prior US Opens, the last just two years earlier to make it then 14 career Major Championships.

While it was overnight leader Dustin Johnson who imploded, Havret could have easily captured the US Open, posting a closing 71 to grab second place on his own, with eventual champion, Graeme McDowell signing for a 74 and a one-stroke victory over Havret while Woods shot a 75 to share fourth.

And Havret later revealed that he and Woods had chatted their heads off, with Woods very interested in the World Cup that was being held in South Africa, at the same time as the pair were walking along the Pacific Ocean shoreline.

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