McDonald advances in European Tour Q-School

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Bruce McDonald moved a step closer towards realising his dream of playing on the European Tour next season after finishing in a three-way tie for second place at the Qualifying School First Stage Section D at Ribagolfe, in Portugal over the weekend.

The 29-year-old United States-based Zimbabwean professional carded a final round 73 to finish on three under par, 285, was tied for second place together with Spaniard Vicente Blazquez (71) and Swede Björn Pettersson (76).

The trio was, however, two shots behind South African Doug McGuigan who finished on six under par, 282 to lead the 26 players who progressed from Qualifying School First Stage Section D.

The European Tour Qualifying School is held at the end of each season, to establish which players will gain their playing privileges on the Tour for the following season through a qualifying competition.

McDonald was the only Zimbabwean in the field of 65 players from around the world where only the top 26 and ties after four rounds progressed to the second stage, which will be held across four courses in southern Spain at the start of December.

In a brief interview with NewsDay Sport, McDonald, who regards the legendary Nick Price as his role model, said he was delighted with his performance over the weekend.

“It was a good weekend for me and hopefully I will continue doing well in the upcoming tournaments.

Although I would have loved to win, in the end I was happy to finish in second position,” said McDonald who leaves the UK for his base in the US today.

McDonald represented the Zimbabwe Junior and Amateur golf teams from 1997 to 1999 before he was awarded a full golf scholarship at the Charleston University in South Carolina.

The golf scholarship allowed him to play golf while studying for a degree in Business Studies.

He played his first tournament on home soil since turning professional at the Africom Zimbabwe Open in February where he finished tied 23rd with Ignatius Mtekekete to emerge the best local golfers.

Should McDonald make the grade this year, he would become only the second player to feature on the European Tour in recent years after injured Marc Cayeux.