McGuigan to try hand in Europe

Sunshine Tour veteran Doug McGuigan will continue his search for opportunities to play golf abroad as he heads to the Final Stage of the European Tour’s Qualifying School in November.


McGuigan, the 43-year-old winner of six Sunshine Tour titles – the latest of which was last year’s ISPS Handa South African Match Play Championship – is back on home soil after a three-month sojourn in Canada on the PGA Tour Canada, where he currently lies 26th on the money list there.


“I played five tournaments there,” he said, “and managed to finish in the top 20 in four of them. It went very well, and I’ve kept my card for next year.”


He was one of four South Africans in Canada – Jaco Ahlers, Andrew Georgiou and long-time Canadian resident Alan McLean were the others – and he was the best performing of those.


He had hoped to lock down a top-10 spot – perhaps even a top-five position which would have guaranteed him a place on next year’s Tour – but when he heard he was straight into Europe’s Final Stage, he came back home to get ready for that.


“I need to just refocus,” he said. “You don’t want to spread yourself too thin. I’ve tried that before. When you try and look at two or three avenues, you don’t really know where to go. So I left Canada, came back home, and I’m preparing for the European Q-School.”


He immediately revelled in being back home, carding an opening four-under-par 66 in the Wild Waves Golf Challenge at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club, and he followed it with a 68 to put himself into contention ahead of the final round.


“Canada was brilliant. The courses were good, and the weather was great except for the one week when we were in Calgary and they had those awful floods. That was a bit of an eye-opener, but in my first round back in South Africa, it was nice to shoot 66,” he said.


The course has brought him a degree of success in the past, with his best finish on it being in the 2006 Nashua Masters. “It’s one of my favourites,” he said. “I equalled the South African record years ago with a 61, before Peter Karmis shot that 59 in Swaziland. I hope I can break out of the hold of second place here this week.”


That would be a good start to preparing to try and win his European Tour card.


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