Golf is a young man’s game these days but it’s interesting to see three Irish teenaged amateurs set to tee it up in Stage One of the Alps Tour Q-School in Spain on Sunday.
Kilkenny’s Luke Donnelly, Bushfoot’s Owen Crooks and Golfclementader’s Eamonn O’Driscoll will be hoping to join Alps Tour regular Tommy O’Driscoll and Castlebar’s Declan Loftus in the final stage when they take on the Europa and Asia courses at La Cala.
It’s hardly a lucrative exercise as Tommy O’Driscoll finished 82nd in the Order of Merit this season with €1,167 from 12 starts while Ireland’s most successful player on the mini tour was David Carey, who finished 37th with €7,551.
It would be interesting to see how Carey and the eldest of the O’Driscoll boys might manage in an event like the Irish Amateur Open today had they remained amateur. Given the experience they have gained amongst the professionals, their games will surely have improved.
While Donnelly and Crooks played youths golf in 2016, they have little experience at senior level and yet feel the need to seek top level competition against professionals in the Alps Tour’s Q-School. It begs the question: Are they getting enough top level experience as amateurs?
The First Stage will be played from December 11-12 with 151 players hoping to progress to the Final Stage which takes place at the same venue from December 15-17.
At the end of this exam, 65 players and ties will gain their ‘card’ for the 2017 Alps Tour season.