Wed, Oct 28, 2015 - Page 18 News List

Evans gets European Tour reprieve after Koepka exit

AFP, HONG KONG

A bizarre turn of events has given young English golfer Ben Evans his livelihood back, just a day after he thought he had lost his European Tour card.

Evans, 28, on Sunday suffered heartbreak despite finishing tied 11th in the UBS Hong Kong Open after a gallant final round of five-under-par 65.

As Evans waited for the field to finish, it became clear that his nine-under-par total of 271 and the US$34,000 in prize money had moved him up seven places in the Race to Dubai to the dreaded 111th spot — with only the top 110 keeping their tour card for next year.

Evans ended 1,007 points below 110th-placed Renato Paratore, who was himself hugely relieved to scrape in after being disqualified for signing for a wrong score in the opening round in Hong Kong.

“Pretty gutted right now,” Evans said on Twitter on Sunday night after the final regular-season European Tour event concluded, with 2013 US Open champion Justin Rose emerging victorious.

However, Evans’ agony turned to ecstasy late on Monday night with news that US golfer Brooks Koepka had withdrawn from next week’s WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai and the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, prompting his removal from the Race to Dubai for not playing the minimum 13 events.

Everyone below Koepka moved up a place, meaning Evans rose to 110th and safety.

“I had no idea what was going on, checked the Tour Web site, which had me at 110, but it wasn’t until I had a call from David Park at the Tour that I had it confirmed,” he told the European Tour’s Web site. “It was brilliant news and I can really plan for next year now.”

“Well @EuropeanTour it’s been a 24hr rollercoaster. Overwhelmed and so happy to be told I’ve moved to 110 on R2D Cant wait for 2016! #buzzing,” Evans said on Twitter.

“Hong Kong — Dad’s favourite city in the world,” he added. “Mine too now.”

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