After qualifying through Stage 1 at the start of October, it was now time to head out to Spain for Stage 2 of European Tour Qualifying, I was drawn to play at Lumine Golf and Beach Club about an hour south of Barcelona.
This time there would be 78 players competing for 18 spots into Final Qualifying.
With the tournament starting on the Saturday, I organised to have a couple of practice rounds early in the week to have a look at the course.
The course was in great condition and with the greenstaff putting a lot of water onto the course, there was not much give from the fairways, a yard or two of roll off the tee was seen as a bit of a bonus.
Having the fairways soft makes them play a lot wider and this would be key as the rough bordering them in places was very thick and it certainly made it tough to control approach shots out of.
I was happy with how my preparation went and was feeling good going into the first round, I made the perfect start by birding my opening hole and added further birdies on 16 and 18 to finish up my front nine in 3 under, I dropped a couple of shots with bogies in the middle of my back nine and I was round in 70. Not a bad start but it was disappointing to not take advantage of some good play as I had two great chances on 1 and 2 which would of taken me to 5 under, then giving away two sloppy bogies straight after added to the frustration.
Round 2 didn’t start quite as quick as round 1 having to wait till the 3rd hole of the day to make a birdie, adding another on the 6th meant I was now two under and playing very solid. I dropped one shot on the back nine after miss clubbing into the 13th. So I was again round in 70 and just a couple of shots outside the qualifying mark at the halfway mark.
Round 3 and things didn’t go to plan as I opened up with a bogey and added further bogies on 8, 12 and 17 to finish the round with a 75 and a lot of work to be done in the final round.
Round 4 was a tough round with the wind blowing incredibly hard at times and in the knowledge I had to make lots of birdies. When play was eventually suspended after 13 holes I was 2 over for the day, unfortunately after nearly a 3 hour delay we went back out in wind just as strong and this was highlighted when we were called in again 2 holes later. We eventually finished the round the next morning not before another 2 hour delay due to further winds. So I finished the tournament with another 75.
This left me on the wrong side of the qualifying mark which fell at 5 under. A disappointing second half of the tournament proved very costly.