• The US PGA champ heads a very strong field at PGA Catalunya
• Seven Scots will be aiming to achieve one of 25 cards on offer
EUROPEAN TOUR | Q-SCHOOL
A former major champion heads the field at European Tour Q-School where seven Scots out of a 156-strong field are vying for just 25 cards for next season.
Y.E. Yang, a former world No.19 who famously took down Tiger Woods in the 2009 US PGA Championship, finds himself in the field at PGA Catalunya in what is arguably the strongest field in Q-School history.
As well as the 44-year-old South Korean, who is the only Asian-born man to have won a major title, there is the likes of six-time European Tour winner Alvaro Quiros, five-time winner Brett Rumford, and Ryder Cup players Edoardo Molinari and Oliver Wilson.
"I’m not dreading it – for goodness sake it’s only a golf event" - Eddie Pepperell
Also playing is Eddie Pepperell (below), who had finished inside the top 50 in the Race to Dubai in 2014 and 2015 before narrowly missing out on retaining his card this year.
Read more -> Eddie Pepperell: "I've never been so lost"
“I’m not dreading it – for goodness sake it’s only a golf event,” the Englishman told the Oxford Mail. “If anyone’s afraid of it they need to have a look at themselves.
“I do feel I’m good enough to be out there on the European Tour, and in time I will hopefully prove that.”
As far as Scottish representation goes, Craig Lee is aiming to retain his European Tour card the hard way after finishing an agonising €1,570 behind Graeme Storm in this year’s Race to Dubai. It’s his first visit to Q-School since 2010.
Read more -> Bradley Neil among five Scots Q-School qualifiers
Bradley Neil (above), meanwhile, is looking at the Final Stage of Q-School as a shot at redemption after struggling in the first 18 months of his professional career.
“This feels like a shot at redemption really,” Neil, who is still only 20, told the European Tour. “I wouldn’t say I’ve had a good chance to really get a good stance on the Challenge Tour – it’s been a lot of ifs and buts, travelling as first reserve or getting in on the Tuesday or Wednesday, I’ve not really had the chance to go week to week and know I’ll be in.
"I’m delighted to be here" - Bradley Neil
“Both times I’ve come here I’ve been delighted to be here, whereas other guys maybe come here after just missing out on keeping their cards, or just missed out on getting a European Tour card through the Challenge Tour. They have a different approach to me – they’re not so happy to be here whereas I’m delighted to be here.
Read more -> Bradley Neil: "I lost a lot of confidence"
“I’ve got the experience of playing Final Stage from last year, and my preparations weren’t quite what I wanted them to be – I had to play the course as much as I could, and playing a lot of holes before a six-round tournament is never ideal.
“I’ve been able to go about it a bit differently this week, and the way I’m approaching it is by trying to be smart – six rounds of two-under-par will get you a European Tour card.
"Six rounds of two under par will get you a European Tour card" - Bradley Neil
“So you’ve just got to manage your expectations and realise that over six rounds you’re going to hit a lot of bad shots, you’ve just got to make sure they’re not going to be as destructive as they might be.”
Like Neil, Grant Forrest, Ross Kellett, Peter Whiteford and David Law all also came through the Second Stage of European Tour Q-School – the latter winning at Lumine Beach & Golf Club – while Scott Henry is also part of the field in what is the 29-year-old’s eighth visit to the Final Stage in the past nine years.
Which players will get their European Tour cards?
Who do you think will earn their European Tour cards through Q-School this week? Leave your thoughts in the 'Comments' section below.