Manchester Evening News: Tom Murray on Challenge Tour and Q School
Article posted: 08 November 2018
It has to rank as the biggest disappointment of my career.
Last week I missed out on getting my European Tour card by one shot – or €605 – and it has to rank as the biggest disappointment of my career.
I went into the final Challenge Tour event of the year, the Ras Al Khaimah Challenge in Dubai, in 15thplace in the Order of Merit, which was the last place that gets a European Tour card for the 2019 season.
A Portuguese player Pedro Figueiredo finished tied 13th and I was 25thand missed out, ultimately, by one shot. While he’s sorted for the European Tour, I travelled to the Final Stage of Qualifying School in Spain yesterday.
Most years I would have got my card with the number of points I had but I didn’t do enough to get the job done and I can’t get away from that.
It’s something I’ll look at over the weeks ahead but mentally I think I dealt well with the situation. I didn’t feel like I was the one to be shot and didn’t feel under too much pressure, but my game wasn’t quite there.
The margins are small, and someone said to me it’s mad that all of the rounds I’ve played and all of the practice I’ve done this year comes down to one shot but that’s where I’ve finished over the whole season and I’ve just got to get on with it.
I’ll learn from it in the long run, but I can’t think about it too much at the moment because of what I have to do this week. It’s a good thing that Qualifying School, with 25 players and ties out of 95 after six rounds getting European Tour cards, has come around so quickly.
I’ve had two days at home and mentally I just have to get straight back on it. It might have been harder if I had two or three weeks to dwell on it.
I’ve had some good messages from my caddy and we’re just going to go into our bubble and ignore everything else. In 2014, I went from First Stage all the way through which was a long, gruelling experience over 14 rounds but it’s good to know that I’ve done it and I’m a far better player now. That has to give me confidence.
Last year, aside from one nine-under round of 63, I was shocking and only missed out by two shot. It’s just a battle of patience and with two days of practice and six rounds, it’s a mental test.
You just have to keep yourself in it and put a good score together, not think you have to go out there and shoot six under every day. As last year taught me, you don’t have to play as well as you think and hopefully that little bit of experience will help me.
There’s no point in being moody and moping, I’ve got another opportunity to get my card, I feel like I’m good enough to go there and get it done and I just have to show it.