Rookie Versfeld leads SA quest for European Tour cards

Sunshine Tour Rookie of the Year Allan Versfeld heads up a list of 14 Sunshine Tour players who will play in the Final Qualifying Stage of the European Tour at the PGA Catalunya in Girona, Spain starting on December 10.

There are 11 South Africans on that list, and they are joined by Sunshine Tour members Alan McLean, who is Scottish, England’s Ben Mannix who plays out of Stellenbosch, and Adilson Da Silva, who represented Brazil in last month’s Omega Mission Hills World Cup in China.

Versfeld, who sealed his rookie year with 56th place in the Alfred Dunhill Championship after starting it with a share of seventh at the Joburg Open, topped the leaderboard with Italian Andrea Perrino and led 20 successful qualifiers from the Qualifying School Second Stage at La Manga Club, in Spain.

Also making it through from that course was Jean Hugo, who won three times on the 2011 Sunshine Tour.

Just missing out there was Trevor Fisher Jnr, who was one stroke out in the race for the final spot, while Bradford Vaughan retired after a first-round 72.

McLean played his way into Final Stage with an 11-under-par performance at El Valle Golf Resort in Murcia.

Doug McGuigan missed out after he slumped to a final-round 81, which was disappointing after his third-round 66 had put him in contention. England’s Neil Cheetham, who also campaigns on the Sunshine Tour, was another who did not go through.

At Las Colinas Golf and Country Club in Alicante, Warren Abery progressed by the skin of his teeth in a share of 19th after his final round of one-over-par 72, while Le Roux Ferreira and Oliver Bekker failed to progress after poor final rounds.

And at Costa Ballena Ocean Club in Jerez, Justin Walters finished one stroke off the lead at 15-under-par to go through with Tyrone Mordt who was on 11-under. Mannix was in a share of 11th.

Da Silva was one of seven Sunshine Tour players who got straight into Final Stage. The others were Tyrone Ferreira, Darren Fichardt, Branden Grace, Alex Haindl, Anthony Michael and Tjaart van der Walt.

The list:

  • Warren Abery
  • Adilson Da Silva (BRA)
  • Tyrone Ferreira
  • Darren Fichardt
  • Branden Grace
  • Alex Haindl
  • Jean Hugo
  • Ben Mannix (ENG)
  • Alan McLean (SCO)
  • Anthony Michael
  • Tyrone Mordt
  • Tjaart van der Walt
  • Allan Versfeld
  • Justin Walters

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