Gwent duo head to Spain for Q School with contrasting emotions
6:00am Thursday 22nd November 2012 in Sport round-up
LIAM Bond flew out to Spain yesterday in buoyant mood ahead of the European Tour School’s final qualifier over the Catalunya course.
The 42-year-old Lancashire-born former Welsh champion has every reason to be in confident mood on the back of winning both the first and second stages of qualifying.
“I think that I am in really good form and my successes in the earlier stages have given me a major boost. I am feeling good about my game at the moment,”said the St Pierre attached professional.
“Hopefully being more of an experienced golfer I can draw on that some of that experience and with a bit of luck it will come together and I can regain my card,”added Bond.
“I feel ready and raring to go. I know it’s going to be a tough challenge but I am excited about the test and hopefully I can come back with my tour card.”
Meanwhile another Gwent product Bradley Dredge is also heading to Spain after failing to keep his card when he missed the cut at last week’s Hong Kong Open.
Dredge who learned his golf at Bryn Meadows has talked about possibly quitting the game in the wake of the loss of his card- but he has decided to give it a go.
“Do I just retire and pack the clubs to the side? I don’t know,” Dredge said.
“If I do get a card I will weigh things up as to what I’m going to do.
“It’s all about where I could be playing. It will not get me into the big money events in 2013 that I am used to playing.
“It could be the back of beyond for not much money and I’m not sure if I want to do that. I really don’t know at the moment. The Challenge Tour is not very appealing.
“It has been funny battling away trying to keep my card because I haven’t done that for a good few years.
“It is not a total surprise to me since I have not been playing good golf for the last four years but now I don’t know what the future holds for me. Do I retire and put the clubs to one side?”
Two more names familiar to Welsh golf fans Stephen Dodd and Rhys Davies also have to battle it out in Spain in an attempt to stay on the Tour.
Davies agonisingly found just £634 separated him and a return next season, just two years on from finishing 18th in the Race to Dubai.
Davies would have retained his Tour card finishing level par in Hong Kong last week, instead banking £5,270 for tied 50th on one over par.
A former winner of the Hassan Trophy in Morocco, Davies shot a final round 62 on the Celtic Manor’s Twenty Ten Course in 2010 to earn second spot in the Wales Open and rise to 45th in the world rankings.
“I guess it is Tour qualifying school now,” said Davies, who has earned £145,812 this season. “And that’s next week.
“It sucks really because I’m playing well but not really getting anything.
“I’m playing better golf than I was two years ago but it’s not showing on the scoreboard. It’s just how the game is. I fancied my chances on the final day but little things didn’t go my way.
“At the end of the day I’ve played under some extreme pressure this week and had four pretty respectable scores, not thrown in the towel once and not folded under the pressure and that’s pretty commendable in itself.
“But I haven’t quite done it.
“I played OK in the final round but putts didn’t go in for me.
“It has played on my mind this week, it was unavoidable. But I wouldn’t have done anything different, I tried my hardest on every shot did my best and unfortunately it has come up short.
“I didn’t think of anything other than the shot I was playing. It was the best I’ve been for the last couple of weeks.
“I was definitely nervous for the first three holes but then I settled and for the remaining 15 holes I was pretty chilled out and enjoyed it a little bit.
"I enjoyed it this week, the bit of tension of trying to achieve something."