Waterford golfer Kevin Phelan will line up beside the biggest names in world golf on the Europea Tour next season after a stunning display in Spain last week.
Following six gruelling rounds he turned on the style on the last day to earn his European tour card.
Playing at the PGA Catalunya Resort in Girona the Waterford Castle player finished in a tie for 17th place and with the top 25 earning their cards he duly won his card with a stunning performance when it mattered most.
He got off to a dream start as he secured birdies at the first, second and fourth holes at the Stadium Course. He carded a bogey at the par-three fifth to temporarily drop out of the top 25 heading towards the back nine.
He then sank a terrific putt at the 12th for another birdie only again to hamper his chances with consecutive bogeys at the 13th and 14th.
However he held his nerve to register decisive birdies at the 15th and 18th for a three -under par 69 and an over total of 10 under-par.
Kevin provided one of the biggest success stories of the final round after the 23 year old, who won two out of three points at the most recent Walker Cup in September and made the cut at this year’s US Open Championship, climbed from outside the cut mark on day six to earn a rookie season on The European Tour.
When he returned to Waterford on Saturday last to celebrate with friends Kevin looked back at his amazing day 24 hours previously.
“I knew I would probably have to birdie the last to have a chance of winning my tour card. I hit a three iron from 217 yards straight at the pin and I could not see where the ball had landed to be honest. To be just four feet from the hole was great and when it dropped from the putt I was delighted. I did not think about what qualifying all week. I just concentrated on every hole as it came”.
Phelan is already making plans for the season ahead. “I may play in Hong Kong in three weeks time and there is also a possibility of playing in South Africa after that. I was nervous all week to be honest because I knew what was at stake but thankfully I have now achieved what I set out to do at the start of the year. To play in the US Open, the Irish Open and the Walker Cup and now to secure my tour card is amazing” said Kevin, who is one of the most unassuming young men any person could wish to meet.