CHRIS HANSON was back home today after hopes of progressing in the European Tour Qualifying School and his target of a European Tour card hit the buffers at El Valle.
The Woodsome Hall golfer, 26, was never really in the hunt after shooting a two-over-par 73 in the first of four rounds in Murcia, which left him trailing the leaders by six shots.
Rounds of 74 and 76 compounded his disappointment before closing out with another 73 for a 12-over par total of 296, some 30 strokes behind eventual winner Sweden’s Joakim Lagergren.
“I learned a lot during the week in Spain, and gave it 100%, but now it’s time to reflect on a great year and put in place plans to feel the same at the end of 2012,” said Hanson.
“I’m looking forward to a good winter’s preparation before going to India in January, and then a successful Challenge Tour next year.”
Hanson topped the EuroPro Tour order of merit this year with three tournament wins along the way at Bovey Castle, Galgorm Castle and Mottram Hall, pocketing over £37,000 in prize money, and he was signed up by Chubby Chandler’s International Sports Management organisation alongside Open champion Darren Clarke and Masters winner Charl Schwartzel.
Luke Donald believes completing an historic money list double in Dubai this weekend will be his greatest achievement.
And should be hold off Rory McIlroy – a player Donald reckons has more talent that anybody he has ever competed against, including Tiger Woods – for the European Tour crown, the world No1 will be able to dedicate it to his late father.
“If it works out on Sunday it will be my biggest accomplishment,” said Donald as he prepared to defend a lead of more than £680,000 over McIlroy at the Dubai World Championship.
First prize is £793,298, so even if Northern Ireland’s young US Open champion, his only remaining challenger for the title, wins the event, Donald needs “only” to finish in the top nine to put the icing on a magnificent season’s work.
Donald returned last week from a month-long break during which his father Colin died suddenly and his second daughter was born only a few days later.
“It’s been a wide range of emotions, something you can’t ever prepare for,” he said.
“My father’s death was very, very sad and very tough, but the birth of my second daughter spread a little grace on the situation.”