Eagle on the 18th gets Walters his Tour card | TeamSA - TeamSA

Eagle on the 18th gets Walters his Tour card


Justin Walters regained his European Tour card on Thursday at the last possible moment joining Jacques Kruyswijk and Christiaan Bezuidenhout as South African qualifiers in Spain.

Compleat Golfer magazine reports the SA trio were among the 33 players who gained playing privileges for the 2018 European Tour season but it was Walters who left it latest.

Walters (pictured above) was outside the projected score for players to gain qualification as he teed off on the par-five 18th, after making bogey on 17 and slipped into a precarious position, two off the pace. But an eagle on 18 lifted him back into contention for one of those precious spots, although he had to endure a long and agonising wait before he was sure he would qualify.

He finished outside the top 100 players on the 2017 Race to Dubai who retained their playing privileges for 2018, which meant the only way back was through Qualifying School.

Bezuidenhout was also outside the top 25 and ties as he teed off on the 18th, and he needed a birdie on that hole. He knew, however, that he had made two pars and a bogey in his three trips up that hole during the five previous days of the marathon that is Final Qualifying Stage.

However, he managed to dip under par and finish on 13-under in a share of 25th. Like Walters, he had to wait for quite some time before his fate was confirmed and he knew he’d be playing on the big stage in 2018.

There were no such difficulties, for Kruyswijk. He reached the 18th five-under for the round, and was coasting home. But he made doubly sure by making eagle on 18 to finish on 19-under in a share of second behind the runaway winner Sam Horsfield who carded a staggering 27-under for the six-round tournament.

Sharing second with Kruyswijk was Danish veteran Anders Hansen, who won the 2009 Joburg Open and the Vodacom Championship the same year. That won him the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit ahead of Charl Schwartzel. He retired after the 2015 European Tour Season, but he has launched a comeback bid.

Anthony Michael was not able to gain his card after he closed with a two-over-par 72 on the final day.

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