Congratulations to Robin Dawson, Ronan Mullarney and Paul McBride who all secured full Alps Tour cards for 2023 after finishing in the top-35 at the Final Stage of Qualifying School in Rome.
Tramore’s Dawson had all but secured a full card barring any disasters in the final round but he rounded off the week in second place on nine-under after a final round of 69 – two shots behind Dutch amateur Lars Van der Vight.
“It gives me a schedule to plan for next year it’s been tough running to events the past year getting the call on the Tuesday or the Wednesday on the Challenge Tour and it’s nice to be able to play a schedule next year,” said the Tramore native.
“I’ve had to take a step back to hopefully go forward a few steps so it’s nice to see my hard work pay off. The Alps is the only real progression tour to the Challenge Tour right now so it’s nice to have something to play for.”
Hopes were high for Dawson when he first turned pro and he made his name at the 2019 Irish Open in Lahinch with an impressive performance. Now he is taking the long route to the top and he hopes to take some inspiration from fellow Munsterman Gary Hurley who earned promotion to the Challenge Tour via the Alps Tour and is in contention for a DP World Tour card at Q-School.
“I see Gaz had a good opening round in Q-School and it would be nice to see a few more Irish out on the main tour. Hopefully the lads get something out of their week over in Spain.”
Galway’s Mullarney who played in July’s Open Championship led the First Stage of Q-School but appeared to have a mountain to climb after an opening round of 78. A second round of ten shots fewer charged the former EuroPro Tour player into the mix again and he completed the comeback with a three-under-par 69 to share 17th place and join Dawson in receiving Category 6 membership on the Alps Tour.
McBride has bounced around the tours this year and he took 24th place on level-par despite a final round 74.
There was huge disappointment for Rosslare’s Paul Murphy who fell to a final round 83 to finish in 56th on five-over. Teeing off in second place, Murphy will still receive Category 8 memberhship as will Joseph Hanney who will get his professional career up and running.
Netherlands amateur Van der Vight shot a final round of 5-under par that included 5 birdies on the front nine holes and 2 bogeys and 2 birdies to close out his round. After his win, the amateur commented: “I was three shots behind the lead ahead of the round today, so I was just trying to do my own thing. Keeping it to my process and see how far I could go. I got off to a really good start being 4 under after 6 holes and from there I just played really well until the end.
“Golf Nazionale is a really good course, you need to have good short game and putting and luckily, I putted well the past two rounds so I’m happy.”
When asked about his plans about turning professional ahead of next year’s season, he explained: “I will remain amateur for at least a few more years and then decide what is best.”