Jonathan Caldwell finally earns his card at Tour School
Caldwell graduates with flying colours but Kearney and Moynihan miss out
Jonathan Caldwell has secured his European Tour card for next season. Photograph: Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images
At last! Jonathan Caldwell’s road to the PGA European Tour has taken a lot longer than he first envisaged when leaving the amateur ranks behind him after representing Ireland in the 2008 Eisenhower Trophy, taking him mainly to events on development circuits including the EuroPro Tour, but - over a decade later - the Ulsterman has reached the promised land.
In firing a final round 67 for a 13-under-par total in the European Tour’s 108-hole Final Qualifying School at Lumine in Spain, the 35-year-old Ulsterman finally secured one of the prized tickets to the big-time in proving that perseverance was worth the long wait.
With the top-25 and ties earning tour cards for the 2020 season, Caldwell’s tied-17th position after his 67 - six birdies, two bogeys - ensured that he would earn the precious tour card category that will likely earn him around 20 tournament appearances through the season.
Denmark’s Benjamin Poke finished in style with a closing 64 for a stunning 25-under-par total of 403 that gave him the top card, all of seven strokes clear of veteran Frenchman Gregory Bourdy in second place.
Unfortunately for Dubliners Niall Kearney and Gavin Moynihan, there was to be no late charge up the leaderboard: the pair finished together in tied-44th, after Kearney finished with a 71 for 420 and Moynihan with a 69 for 420. The consolation for Kearney is that he has earned a full Challenge Tour card for the 2020 season, where Moynihan will also figure.