The fight to qualify for the European Tour has been a tough one this year with 194 contenders vying for the 20 cherished tour cards for 2012. The concluding game was the Apulia San Domenico Grand Final at San Domenico Golf, Italy and was won by the local man, Andrea Pavan.
The overall tour results are still to be ratified but as they stand after the Grand Final Pavan’s win, unfortunately for him, was not enough to seal a win in the overall rankings of the Challenge Cup. The Englishman Tommy Fleetwood took a creditable second place in Italy which took him from second to first place on the overall cup rankings. Fleetwood’s season’s earnings being €148,913 to Pavan’s €133,052; however that was enough to lift Pavan from seventh to second in the overall rankings.
On his way to the Challenge Cup victory Fleetwood had a hole-in-one on the 7th at Mugello Tuscany Open and also took the course record at the Apulia San Domenico Grand Final with a 61, 10 under par in the 2nd round; scoring 8 birdies and an eagle 3 on the par 5 fifteenth. Fleetwood also became the youngest player to win the competition in its 22 year history.
The top three all finished within €18,000 of each other with a gap of over €30,000 to the rest of the field. Fleetwood and Pavan both played in nineteen tournaments with Little playing in eighteen; Little won 3 tournaments, Pavan 2 and Fleetwood 1, so all in all Tommy Fleetwood was the most consistent player throughout the season.
As the results stand pre-ratification out of the 20 European Tour Cards won for the 2012 season 8 were won by Englishman, 4 for Frenchman, 3 for Italians and 1 each for Portugal, Ireland, Scotland and Sweden; with 2 Englishman in the top 3 and 5 in the top 10 England has mounted a very strong challenge in this years Cup.
Some of the interesting facts in this years Challenge Cup are that Benjamin Hebert and Sam Little both managed 3 wins each during the series and Edouard Dubois and Andrea Pavan (Italy) managed 2 wins each. 13 of the 26 tournaments were won by newcomers. Andrew Johnston of England has managed to grab a European Tour Card having only played in 10 competitions.
- Young Briton Fleetwood blazes a trail in the Scottish sunshine (independent.co.uk)
- Fleetwood grabs share of Dunhill lead (news.smh.com.au)