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Curry fails in tour card bid

PUBLISHED: 14:56 11 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:01 03 March 2010

GOLF: Paul Curry has failed in his bid to win back his US Tour card. The former European Tour player, who until earlier this year owned Colne Valley Golf Club, fell at the final hurdle in the demanding qualification to gain one of the 35 spots on the US Tour.

PAUL Curry has failed in his bid to win back his US Tour card.

The former European Tour player, who until earlier this year owned Colne Valley Golf Club, fell at the final hurdle in the demanding qualification to gain one of the 35 spots on the US Tour.

Curry, who still has a home at East Bergholt and may decide to return to the county for good,

finished well down the field in the third and final qualifying stage at the Bear Lakes Country Club in Florida.

Two years ago Curry became one of the few players to have done the double – playing on both the European Tour and US Tour.

But after just one year playing with the elite he did not earn enough money to keep his card and had to settle for a place on the Buy.Com Tour.

The Essex player returned to this country earlier this year to battle his way through the

qualifying rounds of The Open Championship and played all the rounds at Royal Lytham.

In the first stage of the US Tour School, Curry finished ninth equal at the Tournament Players Club at Tampa Bay after rounds of 70, 73, 69 and 71.

At the Orange Country Club in Orlando for the second stage, he was tied in 18th place following rounds of 72, 74, 69 and 71.

Then Curry faced six more rounds in a bid to regain his card and he could not have made a better start.

A four under par 68 on the Lakes course in his opening round put him in good shape.

However, subsequent rounds of 73 and 72 on the Links course left him in 86th position and five shots off the pace.

Curry's hopes were ended when he shot a three over par 75 in his fourth round and although he bounced back with a two under par 70 in round five, it left him 13 shots adrift and in 135th place.

His sixth and final round saw Curry return a 73 for a six-round total of 421 – 16 shots behind the winner Pat Perez.

In addition Curry, who won the Jersey Open back in the mid-1990s on the European Tour, was nine shots short of exemption for the Buy.Com Tour.

This means he will be a non-exempt member of that Tour.

However, with so much travelling involved to events – often involving gruelling flights – he may yet decide to come home for good.

While Curry was left to reflect on what might have been, another British player will be playing the US Tour next year.

Luke Donald, a member of the victorious Walker Cup team in August and a professional for only 16 weeks, won his card with a six-round total of 18 under par (414) to tie for 23rd place. That's how high the standard is to finish in the top 35.

Donald shot six sub-par rounds, including a third round 65, but those finishing worse than 415 missed out on gaining their cards.

A big future in the game is predicted for Donald.

And as a graduate of the Northwestern University in Chicago, he has decided to play in America rather than return to this country.

Among those who won their US Tour cards was Jack Nicklaus' son Gary who has not been able to make the impact that was hoped for since turning professional a few years ago.


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