Date: November 19, 2008

Aussie trio secure European Tour card

Sweden&aposs Oskar Henningsson created European Tour qualifying school history as he surged to victory in Spain with a four-shot buffer to Australian Wade Ormsby and local boy Carlos Del Moral. Ormsby was one of three jubilant Aussies on the final day of tour school, joining Matthew Millar and Michael Curtain as one of 32 graduates who now progress to the European Tour after the six-round examination came to a close on a day of high drama at PGA Golf de Catalunya in Girona in Spain. Ormsby finished with a 68 for a 17-under total, level with Del Moral (71) whose surge up the leaderboard over the second half of the tournament wasn&apost enough to earn him the 18,595 euro ($36,257) first prize. Henningsson, who led for five of the six rounds, fired a closing 69 for a 21-under-par total, becoming the first player to come through stages one and two of the qualifying school and go on to win the 108-hole final. “To be the first guy to win coming through all three stages is a great achievement and it will give me a lot of confidence going into the new season,” said the 23-year-old Swede. “It&aposs been my goal for the season to get on tour and I feel well prepared to go out on the main circuit and make an impression.” Millar, who started the day in a tie for sixth place, carded a disappointing 74 but it was still good enough for him to safely earn his card as he finished in a share of 15th on nine-under-par. Curtain&aposs third consecutive round of 69 saw him leap into a share of 20th position, one stroke further back at eight-under. But there was heartbreak for compatriot Tony Carolan, who missed one of the 32 cards by a single stroke with a final-round 70 seeing him end the tournament at five-under. New Zealand&aposs Gareth Paddison was at one-under in a tie for 48th. Among the players to scrape through on six-under was Italy&aposs Federico Colombo, who only turned professional last week. He was one of eight players to emerge successfully through all three rounds, which started in September, including Jonathan Caldwell, Chris Doak, Scottish amateur Callum Macaulay, Ake Nilsson and rising English stars Danny Willet and Chris Wood. Willett, the former world amateur No.1, signed off with a two-under 70 and give his fledgling professional career an early lift. “It feels good, very good,” said Willett, who underlined his potential earlier this year when he shared 10th place as an amateur in the Spanish Open. “It&aposs been a bit scrappy over the past two days but I&aposve got myself a European Tour card, which is what I came here for.” Willett finished just ahead of countryman Wood who ended a stellar season, in which he finished fifth as an amateur in the Open at Birkdale, on a high. “I&aposve worked really hard for this so I feel like I deserve everything I&aposve achieved, but this does cap a pretty amazing year for me,” said the 20-year-old. Former Ryder Cup players Joakim Haeggman and Andrew Coltart will both return to the main tour in 2009 after qualifying comfortably. Macaulay, who will now turn professional, capped a season of achievement which has included success in his national amateur championship and a gold medal at the World Team championship, by also capturing a tour card. Final round of the European Tour qualifying school -21: Oskar Henningsson 66 66 65 74 69 69 -17: Carlos Del Moral 72 67 66 70 67 71, Wade Ormsby (Australia) 66 75 64 71 69 68 -16: Danny Willett 70 67 63 70 74 70 -15: Joakim Haeggman 70 67 70 71 69 68, Chris Wood 72 66 69 71 69 68 -14: Eirik Tage Johansen 69 66 67 71 74 69 -13: Michael Hoey 68 69 71 72 70 67 Also: -9: Matthew Millar (Australia) 74 69 69 65 70 74 -8: Michael Curtain (Australia) 67 77 71 69 69 69 -5: Tony Carolan (Australia) 67 73 70 74 71 70 -1: Gareth Paddison (New Zealand) 70 73 73 67 73 73