Staysure Tour Qualifying School Final Stage

Thelen triumphs as five earn cards at Staysure Tour Q-School

Day 1, Day 2, Day 3


Tim Thelen earned his second Staysure Tour Qualifying School Final Stage title as a final round 69 meant he finished on five under par at Pestana Golf Resort in Portugal, subsequently securing full playing privileges for the 2019 season.

“It’s very satisfying to know I’ve got a place to play next year. Players have come here from all over the world and you’re playing for five spots.”

The American carded rounds of 73-71-66-69 to finish one shot ahead of José Manuel Carriles, who clinched the second Staysure Tour card in second, while Dan Olsen finished third on three under par and André Bossert came fourth on two under par.

“It was great. I got off to a rough start on the first day and birdied two of my last three on the second, which got me into position. My third round was great and I hit the ball really well.

“I found something on the range on Monday or Tuesday and I just brought it to the golf course. It worked for three days, because the first day really wasn’t very good. I carried the momentum forward and had a good caddie this week.

The final card went to Englishman Stuart Little who overcame countryman Peter Wilson in a play-off, birdieing the second extra hole to secure the fifth and final card on a dramatic day in Portugal.

“I think, in reflection, it’s just nice to be back out on Tour. It’s been ten years and I had a desire to do it, so I came out here and I’m pleased to have done it.”

Thelen, who was making his first appearance at Qualifying School since he won both First Stage and Final Stage in 2010, came out on top after three back nine birdies counteracted a two over par front nine.

Thelen triumphs as five earn cards at Staysure Tour Q-School, © Getty Images
[L-R] Julian Kearney, CEO of Staysure, André Bossert, José Manuel Carriles, Rui Gago, Director of Golf, Pestana Golf Resort, Dan Olsen, Tim Thelen, Stuart Little and David MacLaren, Deputy Chief Operating Officer of the European Tour

© Getty Images


Spaniard Carriles posted a level par 71 to safely earn a card while Olsen will play on the Staysure Tour for the first time in 2019, despite a four over par 75 on Day Four.

“It’s really hard work out here,” said Carriles. “The older I get, the harder it is. On the third hold I had a little bit of luck because I tried to aim a little bit to the right of the flag, but I pulled it a little bit and got away with it. I hit some very good shots today.

“I think I am probably one of the happiest people in the world right now, I am very happy. I like how I played and the atmosphere of the Staysure Tour is fantastic and I’m delighted to be back for another year.”

Bossert, who led Final Stage at the end of Day Two, dramatically earned his playing privileges with back-to-back birdies on his final two holes after a one over par first 16 holes had left his hopes hanging by a thread.

“I’m very fortunate to birdie the last two and not be in the play-off because that’s hair-raising stuff. I’m very happy and very blessed.

“I never thought I’d be coming back to a Tour School. I didn’t have a good year last year; I struggled a lot with the back and subsequently didn’t play well. The category I had would have meant that I wouldn’t get into a lot of the events and I love playing out here.

“It’s so nice to still be playing competitive golf so I came here and gave it a go and I’m happy to be back on Tour next year.”

With four men safely in possession of cards, it was down to Little and Wilson to fight it out for the final spot.

Little, a two-time winner on the European Challenge Tour, holed a magnificent 30-foot putt on the 72 nd hole to ensure he would compete in a play-off with his compatriot Wilson.

The duo parred the first extra hole – the 17 th – and therefore teed it up on the 18 th as the crowds eagerly anticipated a nail-biting finale.

Both men found the fairway with their tee shot, but it was Little who gained the advantage as he hit a superb seven iron to four feet and rolled home the birdie putt to defeat Wilson.

“I had a good read for the putt in regulation, that was the key there,” said Little. “Mike Reynard was going first and I thought it was left-to-right, initially, but clearly it was more right-to-left, so I followed his lead and I was blessed.

“It was a really nice approach in the play-off. I took a seven iron and hit a floaty one to about three or four feet and I was really happy with that.”


Final Scores

279 T Thelen (USA) 73 71 66 69,
280 J Carriles (Esp) 72 71 66 71,
281 D Olsen (USA) 73 67 66 75,
282 A Bossert (Sui) 71 66 75 70,
283 S Little (Eng) 75 69 69 70, P Wilson (Eng) 71 69 70 73,
284 D Morland Iv (Can) 69 71 69 75,
285 M Long (Nzl) 73 69 70 73,
286 G Ryall (Eng) 69 71 71 75, J Cheetham (Eng) 72 75 69 70, S Bebb (Wal) 72 67 71 76,
287 G Joyner (Aus) 71 75 71 70,
288 B McGovern (Irl) 75 71 71 71,
289 J Inman (USA) 68 74 74 73, S Brown (Eng) 69 69 74 77, M Reynard (Eng) 73 73 68 75,
290 R Tinworth (Eng) 72 72 74 72, J Murphy (Eng) 72 69 74 75, V Casado (Esp) 74 73 70 73,
292 R Benitez (Esp) 70 75 72 75, T Wang (Tpe) 72 74 70 76, M Wharton (Eng) 73 68 75 76, G Manson (Aut) 74 71 72 75,
293 S Mondshine (USA) 72 70 74 77,
294 D Mooney (Irl) 72 74 70 78, C Hunsucker (USA) 75 72 70 77, N Cheetham (Eng) 69 72 76 77,
219 J Arruti (Esp) 72 72 75 0, C Monasterio (Arg) 72 73 74 0, F Larsson (Swe) 74 71 74 0, K Tarling (Can) 72 70 77 0, J Sallat (Fra) 65 76 78 0,
220 B Conser (USA) 74 70 76 0, C Gomez (Esp) 74 70 76 0, L Batchelor (Eng) 70 75 75 0, D Wilson (Aus) 79 68 73 0, S Cipa (Eng) 74 72 74 0, E McIntosh (am) (Sco) 76 76 68 0,
221 M Davis (Eng) 76 72 73 0, M Booth (Eng) 74 75 72 0, E Richardson (am) (Eng) 76 73 72 0,
222 D Prosser (Eng) 75 74 73 0, C Baron (Eng) 77 75 70 0,
223 G Ghei (Ind) 76 75 72 0, C Devers (USA) 73 77 73 0, J Laforce (Can) 72 76 75 0, J Hall (Eng) 73 73 77 0, D Charlton (Eng) 75 72 76 0, S Bennett (Eng) 72 74 77 0, J Quiros (Esp) 73 75 75 0, N Mitchell (Eng) 79 74 70 0,
224 M Forrest (Can) 75 74 75 0, K Hsu (Tpe) 75 74 75 0,
225 F Roca (Esp) 81 74 70 0, A George (Eng) 73 79 73 0, C Corrigan (Eng) 78 75 72 0, F Lamare (Fra) 74 76 75 0,
226 R Wechgelaer (Ned) 77 75 74 0, E Kocs (USA) 78 77 71 0, M Mackenzie (Eng) 78 74 74 0, M Spooner (Eng) 74 77 75 0,
227 G Marks (Eng) 74 77 76 0, K Seike (Jpn) 77 72 78 0, D Westermark (Swe) 76 77 74 0,
228 J Sagardoy (Esp) 79 74 75 0, S Wilkinson (Wal) 74 74 80 0,
229 A Sherborne (Eng) 76 76 77 0, A Carro (Esp) 75 81 73 0,
231 A Collison (Eng) 74 78 79 0, M McNeilly (Can) 75 78 78 0,
234 J Gamez (Esp) 84 76 74 0, R Ellis (Eng) 77 78 79 0,
** M Bright (RSA) 77 75 WD 0, J Kemp (Eng) 75 77 WD 0, C Suneson (Esp) 76 76 WD 0,
** D Wettlaufer (Can) 75 WD 0 0


Day 3 – Olsen leads as 27 make Final Stage cut

America’s Dan Olsen leads Staysure Tour Qualifying School Final Stage on seven under par after posting a five under par 66 on Day Three as 27 players booked their place in the final round by making the five over par cut.

Olsen leads as 27 make Final Stage cut, © Getty Images

© Getty Images


Only those finishing within eight shots of fifth place at Vale da Pinta made the third round cut and will be given the chance to compete for one of five 2019 Staysure Tour cards in the fourth round.

Olsen leads the way on seven under par, with Spaniard José Manuel Carriles and Canada’s David Morland IV three shots back on four under par, while the trio of Sion E Bebb, Tim Thelen and Peter T Wilson share fourth place on three under par.

Three birdies going out and a further three coming in, with a single bogey, was enough for the American to open a three-shot advantage with 18 holes remaining.

The 52 year old progressed through First Stage at Gramacho Golf Club last week after revealing he was attracted to the Tour following his appearance at The Senior Open Presented by Rolex last year.

“I’ve played a lot on the PGA of America at home and I came over last summer and played in the The Senior Open at St Andrews,” he said.

“I qualified and got in but then missed the cut, but it was a great experience. It made me want to come back and play some more tournaments on the Staysure Tour.

“They’re good guys over here. They’re such professionals who have played a lot of golf. I had good pairings even at Gramacho and it’s been really good,” Olsen said after playing with Wilson and George Ryall on Day Three.

Olsen’s third round 66 added to his second round of 67, and even after a slow start to the week, where he was four over after nine holes, the American is still pleased with his game in Portugal.

“It’s pretty hard to get round here in that score,” he said. “I’ve got plenty of respect for this place, so I’m really happy with today. I controlled my ball nicely and I just need to go and do that tomorrow.

“I played pretty well yesterday and shot four under. I played a bad first nine on the first day and from then on I’ve done a good job of controlling my ball at a difficult place to do that.”

The American is hoping to follow the lead of countryman Clark Dennis by earning his card at Q-School and becoming a man to watch on the over-50s golf scene.

“A lot of these guys play better in their 50s and I’m sure Clark is one of those guys,” Olsen said. “I want to be one of those guys.

“Some guys’ minds get better and their bodies don’t deteriorate for some reason. For example, Bernhard Langer is 61 and he’s great. I think a lot of guys have played better in their 50s than they did in their 30s and 20s.

“I look forward to trying to be one of those guys. It will give me great satisfaction if I get one of those cards tomorrow. I just need to play each shot on every hole and not try and get too smart.”

Overnight leader André Bossert relinquished the lead early on Day Three as he posted a five over par front nine before eventually gaining a shot and signing for a four over par 75. He will head into the final round in tied eighth on one under par alongside Simon P Brown and Michael Long.

The last man to make the cut was Richard Tinworth in tied 27th as he finished on five over par after three rounds. Glenn Joyner will also contest the final round after back-to-back birdies on the final two holes meant he jumped from six over par to four over.

The final round will begin at 9.00am local time on Thursday January 31 as the remaining 27 players compete for one of five cards.


Scores after Round Three

206 D Olsen (USA) 73 67 66,
209 D Morland Iv (Can) 69 71 69, J Carriles (Esp) 72 71 66,
210 S Bebb (Wal) 72 67 71, P Wilson (Eng) 71 69 70, T Thelen (USA) 73 71 66,
211 G Ryall (Eng) 69 71 71,
212 A Bossert (Sui) 71 66 75, M Long (Nzl) 73 69 70, S Brown (Eng) 69 69 74,
213 S Little (Eng) 75 69 69,
214 M Reynard (Eng) 73 73 68,
215 J Murphy (Eng) 72 69 74,
216 J Cheetham (Eng) 72 75 69, J Inman (USA) 68 74 74, D Mooney (Irl) 72 74 70, S Mondshine (USA) 72 70 74, M Wharton (Eng) 73 68 75, T Wang (Tpe) 72 74 70,
217 N Cheetham (Eng) 69 72 76, R Benitez (Esp) 70 75 72, G Manson (Aut) 74 71 72, G Joyner (Aus) 71 75 71, V Casado (Esp) 74 73 70, C Hunsucker (USA) 75 72 70, B McGovern (Irl) 75 71 71,
218 R Tinworth (Eng) 72 72 74,
219 J Arruti (Esp) 72 72 75, C Monasterio (Arg) 72 73 74, F Larsson (Swe) 74 71 74, K Tarling (Can) 72 70 77, J Sallat (Fra) 65 76 78,
220 B Conser (USA) 74 70 76, C Gomez (Esp) 74 70 76, L Batchelor (Eng) 70 75 75, D Wilson (Aus) 79 68 73, S Cipa (Eng) 74 72 74, E McIntosh (am) (Sco) 76 76 68,
221 M Davis (Eng) 76 72 73, M Booth (Eng) 74 75 72, E Richardson (am) (Eng) 76 73 72,
222 D Prosser (Eng) 75 74 73, C Baron (Eng) 77 75 70,
223 G Ghei (Ind) 76 75 72, C Devers (USA) 73 77 73, J Laforce (Can) 72 76 75, J Hall (Eng) 73 73 77, D Charlton (Eng) 75 72 76, S Bennett (Eng) 72 74 77, J Quiros (Esp) 73 75 75, N Mitchell (Eng) 79 74 70,
224 M Forrest (Can) 75 74 75, K Hsu (Tpe) 75 74 75,
225 F Roca (Esp) 81 74 70, A George (Eng) 73 79 73, C Corrigan (Eng) 78 75 72, F Lamare (Fra) 74 76 75,
226 R Wechgelaer (Ned) 77 75 74, E Kocs (USA) 78 77 71, M Mackenzie (Eng) 78 74 74, M Spooner (Eng) 74 77 75,
227 G Marks (Eng) 74 77 76, K Seike (Jpn) 77 72 78, D Westermark (Swe) 76 77 74,
228 J Sagardoy (Esp) 79 74 75, S Wilkinson (Wal) 74 74 80,
229 A Sherborne (Eng) 76 76 77, A Carro (Esp) 75 81 73,
231 A Collison (Eng) 74 78 79, M McNeilly (Can) 75 78 78,
234 J Gamez (Esp) 84 76 74, R Ellis (Eng) 77 78 79,
** M Bright (RSA) 77 75 WD, J Kemp (Eng) 75 77 WD, C Suneson (Esp) 76 76 WD,
** D Wettlaufer (Can) 75 WD 0,


André bosses Q-School on Day Two

André Bossert soared to the top of the Staysure Tour Qualifying School Final Stage leaderboard after posting a five under par 66 on Day Two at Vale da Pinta, Portugal, to hold the halfway lead on five under par.

André bosses Q-School on Day Two, © Getty Images

© Getty Images


The 55 year old navigated his way round Vale da Pinta without recording a blemish on his scorecard and will take a one-shot lead into Day Three, with Englishman Simon P Brown one shot behind on four under par.

Welshman Sion E Bebb is a shot further back on three under par while David Morland IV, Dan Olsen, George Ryall and Peter T Wilson all share fourth place on two under par.

Bossert, who started the day level par after a bogey and a birdie apiece on Day One, made his intentions clear from the off by carding birdies at the tenth and 12 th – two of his first three holes – before a further gain arrived at the 16 th .

He made the turn at three under and safely parred his way towards home before finishing with a flourish with two final gains at the last two holes, birdieing the par four eighth and the par three ninth.

Bossert believes the five-shot swing in his two opening rounds was merely down to his performance on the greens, citing his putting as a clear difference.

“I’m very pleased,” Bossert said. “I probably played the same type of golf tee-to-green yesterday but I didn’t have any luck on the greens, so I was happy today to hole a few putts.

“I’ve been hitting it very well. I think I hit 17 greens yesterday and probably 17 greens today. I’m hitting it very consistently and I think I just got it closer to the hole today, giving myself more opportunities.

“It was strange yesterday. On the range I thought ‘wow, this is a survival day’ and then the first tee shot was windy, but I thought it settled down after that. To be honest, I don’t think there was a huge difference to today.”

The South African-born Swiss said he enjoys the challenge Vale da Pinta presents and wants to stick to his pre-tournament scoring goal.

“It is a very tactical golf course,” he said. “You have to place your tee shots, it’s not about just getting up and bombing the driver off the tee.

“These greens have a lot of corners where they can tuck the pins, so you have to think. You have to think whether you need to fade it in there or draw it. I love this. This is my type of golf and I love this type of golf. I enjoy it.

“I want to see if I can keep hitting fairways, hitting greens and keep ahead of the curve, that’s what it’s about. I fell behind the curve yesterday, I felt. The goal for the week was to be two-under every day so I want to keep doing that.”

The third round will begin at 9.00am local time on Wednesday January 30 where the field will vie to make the cut, which will be made only by those within eight shots of fifth place ahead of the final round.


Scores after Round 2

137 A Bossert (Sui) 71 66,
138 S Brown (Eng) 69 69,
139 S Bebb (Wal) 72 67,
140 P Wilson (Eng) 71 69, G Ryall (Eng) 69 71, D Olsen (USA) 73 67, D Morland Iv (Can) 69 71,
141 J Murphy (Eng) 72 69, M Wharton (Eng) 73 68, J Sallat (Fra) 65 76, N Cheetham (Eng) 69 72,
142 S Mondshine (USA) 72 70, K Tarling (Can) 72 70, J Inman (USA) 68 74, M Long (Nzl) 73 69,
143 J Carriles (Esp) 72 71,
144 S Little (Eng) 75 69, R Tinworth (Eng) 72 72, T Thelen (USA) 73 71, B Conser (USA) 74 70, J Arruti (Esp) 72 72, C Gomez (Esp) 74 70,
145 L Batchelor (Eng) 70 75, R Benitez (Esp) 70 75, C Monasterio (Arg) 72 73, F Larsson (Swe) 74 71, G Manson (Aut) 74 71,
146 S Cipa (Eng) 74 72, M Reynard (Eng) 73 73, J Hall (Eng) 73 73, G Joyner (Aus) 71 75, B McGovern (Irl) 75 71, S Bennett (Eng) 72 74, D Mooney (Irl) 72 74, T Wang (Tpe) 72 74,
147 V Casado (Esp) 74 73, D Charlton (Eng) 75 72, D Wilson (Aus) 79 68, J Cheetham (Eng) 72 75, C Hunsucker (USA) 75 72,
148 S Wilkinson (Wal) 74 74, J Quiros (Esp) 73 75, M Davis (Eng) 76 72, J Laforce (Can) 72 76,
149 K Seike (Jpn) 77 72, D Prosser (Eng) 75 74, M Forrest (Can) 75 74, M Booth (Eng) 74 75, K Hsu (Tpe) 75 74, E Richardson (am) (Eng) 76 73,
150 F Lamare (Fra) 74 76, C Devers (USA) 73 77,
151 G Marks (Eng) 74 77, M Spooner (Eng) 74 77, G Ghei (Ind) 76 75,
152 A George (Eng) 73 79, A Collison (Eng) 74 78, M Mackenzie (Eng) 78 74, M Bright (RSA) 77 75, J Kemp (Eng) 75 77, C Suneson (Esp) 76 76, C Baron (Eng) 77 75, R Wechgelaer (Ned) 77 75, A Sherborne (Eng) 76 76, E McIntosh (am) (Sco) 76 76,
153 N Mitchell (Eng) 79 74, D Westermark (Swe) 76 77, J Sagardoy (Esp) 79 74, C Corrigan (Eng) 78 75, M McNeilly (Can) 75 78,
155 E Kocs (USA) 78 77, F Roca (Esp) 81 74, R Ellis (Eng) 77 78,
156 A Carro (Esp) 75 81,
160 J Gamez (Esp) 84 76,
** D Wettlaufer (Can) 75 WD,


Sallat leads the way on Day One of Q-School

Jean Pierre Sallat seized the initiative on Day One of Staysure Tour Qualifying School Final Stage, posting a six under par 65 at Vale da Pinta, Portugal, as he opened a three-shot advantage at the top of the leaderboard.

Sallat leads the way on Day One of Q-School, © Getty Images

© Getty Images


The Frenchman was undeterred by the windy conditions, which hampered many of his competitors, signified by finishing his round as the only man to avoid a blemish on the card.

Sallat, a former professional footballer, will take a three-shot lead into the second round ahead of America’s John Inman, who carded a three under 68 on Day One, with Simon P Brown, Neil Cheetham, David Morland IV and George Ryall, who finished eagle-birdie, a shot further back on two under par following rounds of 69.

The wind was swirling as André Bossert and Andrew George hit the first tee shots of Qualifying School Final Stage at 9am ahead of what proved to be a tough day of scoring for much of the field.

However, by the time Sallat made his way to the first tee in the penultimate group of the day, the swirling wind had turned to a gentle breeze and the opportunity to pick up birdies suddenly appeared.

As the likes of Inman and Brown battled back from early bogeys to move into the red, Sallat immediately began picking up shots with gains at the second, fourth, sixth and eighth to make the turn at four under par before further birdies arrived at the 11 th and 15 th , ending the opening day on top of the pile.

With three rounds remaining in the quest for one of five Staysure Tour cards, Sallat recognises there is a long way to go but takes great pride in the way he played on Day One.

“It is a great day,” said Sallat. “I played very good golf all the way round and carded no bogeys, which is important on this golf course.

“I had no bogeys today because my iron play was good and my putting was great. I hope to do more of the same in the next three days.

“I will take it one shot at a time and make sure my concentration levels are very high. I just want to concentrate on hitting my tee shot onto the fairway and my second shot onto the green and then take my time over my putt.

“I am very happy but there are still three days to go and a lot can happen.”

The second round will begin at 9.00am local time on Tuesday January 29.


Scores after Round 1

65 J Sallat (Fra) ,
68 J Inman (USA) ,
69 S Brown (Eng) , N Cheetham (Eng) , G Ryall (Eng) , D Morland Iv (Can) ,
70 R Benitez (Esp) , L Batchelor (Eng) ,
71 G Joyner (Aus) , A Bossert (Sui) , P Wilson (Eng) ,
72 J Carriles (Esp) , D Mooney (Irl) , R Tinworth (Eng) , J Laforce (Can) , K Tarling (Can) , J Cheetham (Eng) , T Wang (Tpe) , S Mondshine (USA) , S Bebb (Wal) , J Arruti (Esp) , S Bennett (Eng) , J Murphy (Eng) , C Monasterio (Arg) ,
73 M Wharton (Eng) , D Olsen (USA) , J Quiros (Esp) , M Long (Nzl) , C Devers (USA) , A George (Eng) , M Reynard (Eng) , T Thelen (USA) , J Hall (Eng) ,
74 F Larsson (Swe) , F Lamare (Fra) , B Conser (USA) , M Spooner (Eng) , M Booth (Eng) , G Manson (Aut) , C Gomez (Esp) , S Cipa (Eng) , G Marks (Eng) , A Collison (Eng) , S Wilkinson (Wal) , V Casado (Esp) ,
75 A Carro (Esp) , M Forrest (Can) , S Little (Eng) , B McGovern (Irl) , K Hsu (Tpe) , C Hunsucker (USA) , D Charlton (Eng) , M McNeilly (Can) , D Wettlaufer (Can) , D Prosser (Eng) , J Kemp (Eng) ,
76 A Sherborne (Eng) , M Davis (Eng) , C Suneson (Esp) , D Westermark (Swe) , G Ghei (Ind) , E McIntosh (am) (Sco) , E Richardson (am) (Eng) ,
77 K Seike (Jpn) , C Baron (Eng) , M Bright (RSA) , R Wechgelaer (Ned) , R Ellis (Eng) ,
78 C Corrigan (Eng) , M Mackenzie (Eng) , E Kocs (USA) ,
79 N Mitchell (Eng) , D Wilson (Aus) , J Sagardoy (Esp) ,
81 F Roca (Esp) ,
84 J Gamez (Esp)