Connor McKinney, Hayden Hopewell and Haydn Barron have all reached the final stage of DP World Tour Qualifying School in Spain.
The second stage of Q-School saw more than 200 players competing over 72 holes at four Spanish venues, with the top 20 or so players from each event qualifying for the final stage.
The trio progressed in quite different manners, with McKinney, in particular, producing consistently excellent golf throughout his four-day qualifier in Albacete.
The 21-year-old Joondalup CC product was steady for his opening two rounds before hitting the accelerator over the final 36 holes. A seven-under-par 64 in his third round catapulted McKinney up the leaderboard and he closed out with a 65 to win his qualifier outright at -12.
Things weren’t quite as serene for Hayden Hopewell, who was contesting a separate event in Girona, far to the north. Well off the pace after an opening three-over round of 74, Hopewell regrouped to fire rounds of 69, 65 and 67 to finish T4th overall and qualify with plenty of room to spare.
Of the three WA golfers, Barron had the most trying experience. Playing in the same qualifier as McKinney, Barron’s hopes appeared dead and buried when he returned a six-over 77 on day one.
Although he improved with rounds of 72 and 70, Barron still faced an almighty struggle on the final day, knowing he had to go seriously low to be in with any chance of progressing.
He did precisely that, closing with a seven-under 64 to fly up the standings and earn a place in a four-man sudden-death playoff. And although he agonisingly missed out there, Barron was later informed he had earned a place in final qualifying after other players withdrew.
All three WA golfers now turn their attentions to Infinitum Golf Club in Tarragona, near Barcelona, where Q-School Finals take place from November 10-15. There, more than 100 players will compete over six rounds, with only the top 25 and ties earning fully exempt status for the DP World Tour in 2024.