With no Q-School finals happening this year, we have decided to take a look back at some past winners’ careers…

With no fewer than six Lumine Alumni being crowned champions during the 2020 season, we look through a host of success stories from players that have made their way to the European tour right here, on our courses.

November often symbolizes an exciting time of year, a period in the golfing calendar where the next generation of talent arrive in Costa Daurada, with their dreams and ambitions potentially just a few rounds away.

Reaching the European Tour is the ultimate goal for many young golfing professionals, and the top 25 players (and tied) at the Q-School Finals will have their journey to the top defined by their ability to unlock the secrets of two exceptional golf courses at Lumine Golf Club: Lakes and Hills.

 

Sam Horsfield

With a number of players competing over 252 holes, three stages, and two or three countries over a period of three months, there is nothing quite comparable in the game.

Having hosted the European Tour’s Q-School Final Stage since 2017, Lumine were delighted to have signed a new three-year contract as the host venue back in March. But, with the COVID-19 pandemic following shortly afterwards, the decision was made earlier this year to postpone Q-School until 2021.

Whilst the Tour paused its regular season before kickstarting again in July, there have been some exceptional performances in 2020 from previous Q-School winners and those who have qualified over the past few years. The challenge presented by Lumine, during the gruelling final stages, evidently helps to shape a golfers mentality and ability to close out tournaments when it really matters.

The season so far has had a whole host of Lumine Alumni shine through, with no fewer than SIX Champions crowned through the disrupted season. Sami Valimaki, Marc Warren, Rasmus Hojgaard, Sam Horsfield, Romain Langasque and Ross McGowan have all battled it out in various countries, with Rasmus and Sam collecting two trophies along the way.

One mistake and that could be it over for you. It is once a year and you have to perform that week even if you lose confidence. It is one of the most emotional and hardest weeks I’ve ever played.
Guido Migliozzi

However, the storylines do not stop there….

American, John Catlin, who missed out on qualification at last year’s Q-School finishing in 52nd place, has also won twice this season on two of the hardest golf courses on tour at the Estrella Damm N.A Andalucía Masters and Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in September.

Q-School can often make or break a players’ career, and one talented golfer, from the names above, has flourished and risen through the world rankings since qualifying in 2019. Rasmus Hojgaard, broke onto the scene just one month after qualifying at Lumine, beating Renato Paratore and Antoine Rozner in a PLAY OFF, securing his first win at the Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open. The young Danish superstar has since followed up by winning the ISPS Handa UK Championship at The Belfry, finishing top of the podium during the Order of Merit UK Swing (a six-event swing across five courses). He now finds himself in 10th place in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai with just a handful of events remaining.

Although this exceptional maiden season has been documented globally, his extraordinary performance in his final five rounds of Q-School has not been. Having carded a one over par 73 in his first round (4 over after 9), and sitting in 106th place, it looked like the challenge presented by Lumine could be too great for Hojgaard. However, in one of the finest performances ever displayed at Q-School, he went onto shoot four of his last five rounds in sub 70, including 12 birdies in his final two rounds, to propel himself up the leaderboard and finish in 5th place on 16 under par.

 

Romain Langasque

I always looked at all these events as opportunities to learn and felt comfortable and confident that I could secure my tour card at Lumine” said Hojgaard when asked about his Q-School experience. “I was playing solid golf, but it was just one hole that cost me 5-shots in my opening round. With the cut being after four rounds, I knew I had plenty of time to recover.”

“The challenge presented at Lumine during Q-School has been very important in my pathway to winning on the European Tour. It taught me to stay patient and that I had the resilience to build a score and handle the pressure, both physically and mentally, during an extremely tiring week” said Hojgaard when questioned about how Q-School helped him prepare for life of the European Tour.

Hojgaard is not the only player to secure a tour title after nearly falling foul of the challenge presented at Europe’s Best Golf Venue. Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond, who made his Masters debut at Augusta National earlier this month and won the prestigious SMBC Singapore Open on the Asian Tour in 2019, miraculously chipped in for eagle at the final hole of the 2017 Q-School Finals to earn himself a European Tour card by finishing in 25th place.

In the same year as Jazz Janewattananond’s remarkable feat, Sam Horsfield truly excelled at Lumine. He secured an eight-shot victory over the rest of the field to claim his European Tour card, one of the best displays in the event’s history. Although he won Q-School at a canter, success on the tour did not come immediately for Horsfield. Despite having an quiet first year in 2018, he bounced back by making the cut in 17 of the 22 tournaments he played in 2019, before securing his first and second victories on the European Tour in a matter of weeks at this year’s Celtic Classic and Hero Open during the UK Swing. Demonstrating his clear ability to transfer his learnings from his Q-School victory onto the biggest stage, Sam has been globally communicated as a future star, and supported by good friend and mentor Ian Poulter.

It is not always the top 5 performers from Q-School who shine the best on Tour, and another of Europe’s rising stars is Guido Migliozzi, a classy Italian. Now a household name, Migliozzi secured his place in 2018 by finishing 15th on 18 under par during the final stages. His performances since have been incredibly consistent catching the eye in big tournaments, such as the Oman Open, won by fellow Lumine Alumni Sami Valimaki, before securing two victories in 2019, the Kenya Open and the Belgian Knockout.

 

Guido Migliozzi

The final stage of Q-School is very tough. It is a mixture of pressure and self-control as you need to stay focused for all six rounds. One mistake and that could be it over for you. It is once a year and you have to perform that week even if you lose confidence. It is one of the most emotional and hardest weeks I’ve ever played.” 

“Lumine is a great test for players who want to make it onto the European Tour. My favourite course has to be the Hills. It is a good design with a number of driveable par 4s on offer which is great because,  especially in a format like Q-School, you have the chance to really attack by trying to drive them” said Migliozzi when asked on his thoughts about the set-up of the courses at Lumine.

It is not only young up-and-coming players that have used Q-School at Lumine to maximise their career opportunities. Marc Warren and Ross McGowan, who both respectively secured their European Tour cards at Lumine in 2017 and 2018, have impressively revived their careers by adding more trophies to their cabinets, after golf resumed during the summer. Warren, who had managed his previous victory at the Made in Denmark Tournament in 2014, won the first competition back in 2020 at the Austrian Open by making birdie on the 17th in the last round, all whilst carrying his own bag.

McGowan, in a similar manner has used qualification to regather confidence and project his career. Victory on the Challenge Tour in 2019 at the D+D Real Czech Challenge showed he could compete for wins again and has since been able to transfer this form onto the European Tour by winning last month at the Italian Open, more than 11 years after his maiden win at the Madrid Masters.

 

The challenge presented at Lumine during Q-School has been very important in my pathway to winning on the European Tour. It taught me to stay patient and that I had the resilience to build a score and handle the pressure, both physically and mentally, during an extremely tiring week
Rasmus Hojgaard

 

Each and every one of these fascinating stories showcase a common denominator – patience and resilience needed to succeed at the highest level of European golf learned through the gruelling final stages at Lumine. Offering 45 spectacular golf holes across three golf courses, Lumine is the perfect place for Q-School as it provides the perfect balance between challenge and reward, allowing players the opportunity to strategically plot their way around six final rounds of golf, you cannot win a tournament after round 1, but you can certainly lose it.

The resort’s commitment to the event has become even more evident since this year’s edition was postponed.  As part of their development strategy, that includes growing the game for amateur players and helping to facilitate their dreams of reaching the European Tour, Lumine expressed their willingness to connect with other national bodies across Europe by partnering with the Swiss Golf Association, becoming the country’s national team winter training base for three months in 2021.

With state-of-the-art training facilities, Lumine is the ideal setting to develop young talent. One player who’s career has progressed a great deal in recent times since playing at Lumine is Swiss Golfer Kim Metraux, who along with her sister Morgane has used the venue as her own personal winter training base in the past. She is now a regular on the Ladies European Tour, finishing T3rd earlier this year at the Swiss Open.

In the three years since Lumine started hosting the European Tour’s Q-School Final Stage a number of exciting and talent players have been unearthed, whilst other players have used the event to rediscover the form that has enabled them to win on Europe’s biggest stage once again.

Q-School is a fundamental building block to a whole host of professional golfers, with exciting memories and magical moments captured during a competitive and emotional tournament. Lumine cannot wait to welcome new golfers from all around the world back in 2021 and battle it out for a spot on the European Tour. But until then, stay safe, and keep practicing.