Final Challenge Tour card for Caldwell; no joy for McElroy or Kearney

Clandedboye's Jonny Caldwell clinched his return to the Challenge Tour when he finished 15th behind wire-to-wire winner Adam Chapman in the Sky Sports Tour Championship in Portugal to claim the last of five cards via the Order of Merit.

But there was disappointment for Niall Kearney and Dermot McElroy as they missed out on promotion to the second tier tour via the Europro Tour despite top-five finishes in the season-ending event at Amendoeria Golf Resort.

As Chapman closed with a 71 to win by four shots on nine-under, earning £22,540 to jump from 54th to third in the Order of Merit, Caldwell birdied two his last three holes of a 72 to share 15th on two-over.


Rory McIlroy's foursomes partner in the 2007 Walker Cup at Royal County Down, 33-year-old Caldwell returns to the Challenge Tour after a six-year absence.

But there is still time for Kearney and McElroy to make the move to the Challenge Tour, or even the European Tour, as they tee it up in the Second Stage of the Q-School in Spain next week.

Injured Chris Lloyd claimed the top spot in the Europro Tour rankings by less than £600 from rookie of the year MK Kim in second.

Chapman leapt from 54th to third after his win at Amendoeria Golf Resort with Nick Marsh (Huddersfield Golf Club) dropping to fourth place and Caldwell taking the fifth and final Challenge Tour spot

Kearney needed to finish second to win his Challenge Tour card but came up just short, claiming a share of third, one stroke behind runner-up Kim on five-under after a closing 71, eventually falling one spot to 11th on the money list.

McElroy was fifth, five shots behind Chapman on four-under after a 69 and ended up eighth on the money list, £2,539 outside the top 5 — the equivalent of two shots this week.

Final - 2017 Race To Amendoeira

Full rankings


1 Chris Lloyd England The Kendleshire Golf Club 13 £37,695.21
2 Min Kyu Kim Korea, Republic Of Golfmind Korea 13 £37,150.40 51
3 Adam Chapman England Carus Green Golf Club 16 £26,585.83 1
4 Nick Marsh England Huddersfield Golf Club 13 £24,045.04 1
5 Jonathan Caldwell Clandeboye Golf Club 16 £22,562.31

---Top 5 earned Challenge Tour cards---

Other Irish

8 Dermot McElroy Ballymena Golf Club 9 £20,022
11 Niall Kearney The Royal Dublin Golf Club 14 £17,083
18 Brendan McCarroll Narin & Portnoo Golf Club 8 £9,756
30 Brian Casey None 13 £8,093.
51 Tim Rice Limerick Golf Club 15 £4,940
94 Reeve Whitson Royal County Down Golf Club 14 £1,704
135 David Carey Unattached 12 £757
139 Brian McElhinney North West Golf Club 11 £697
154 Stephen Grant Mount Juliet 8 £498

Sky Sports Tour Championship, Oceanico Faldo Course, Amendoeira Golf Resort (Par 72)

1 Adam Chapman (Eng) 68 68 71 207  £22,540.00
T3  Niall Kearney (The Royal Dublin) 70 70 71 211  £4,785.00
5 Dermot McElroy (Ballymena) 71 72 69 212  £3,500.00
15 Jonathan Caldwell (Clandeboye) 74 72 72 218  £1,300.00
T20  Brendan McCarroll (Narin & Portnoo) 74 73 73 220  £960.00
T42  Brian Casey (Unatt.) 78 73 76 227 £655.00
T46  Tim Rice (Limerick) 81 71 76 228  £625.00