Manx golfer Tom Gandy agonisingly just missed out on a place on next year’s European Tour by a single shot on Wednesday.
The Rowany ace remained in contention throughout the six rounds of the stage three Q-School event, which was played at Alenda near Alicante in Spain.
With the top 25 securing their place on next year’s prestigious Tour - the pinnacle of European golf - Gandy fell short by the narrowest of margins as he ended the competition in joint 29th.
The 27-year-old recorded a two-under-par opening round and followed it up with a one-under effort on the second but then faltered with a one-over-par score on Sunday.
However, the Manxman bounced back in style with a stunning performance on Monday, recording no fewer than six birdies in a five-under-par total which put him right back into contention.
In doing so, Gandy guaranteed himself at least a place on the 2020 Challenge Tour which is the second-tier men’s professional golf tour in Europe, one above his current EuroPro level.
Gandy began Tuesday’s round with several pars and a birdie on the 4th hole, but bogeyed the very next hole. When he double bogeyed the 12th to bring his round back to par, the Manxman needed to bounce back.
And bounce back he did in style by birdieing two of the next three holes and then went even better with an eagle (two under par) on the 18th and final hole to leave him at nine under for the five rounds played so far, with only Wednesday’s final round to play.
The Isle of Man golfer got off to the perfect start with an opening-hole birdie but then bogeyed the very next hole.
Another birdie followed on the 5th but this was again cancelled out by a one-over-par effort on the 9th, leaving him needing a stellar back nine.
A succession of pars were carded on the next six holes, therefore it all went down to the final three holes at the end of a gruelling six days of golf.
Hope was rekindled on the 16th when he birdied the hole to move onto one-under for the day and, after another par on the 17th, he clinched another birdie on the last hole to end on two-under, finishing the stage on -11 overall.
A tense waiting game followed to see if that would be enough to claim a top-25 finish, but in the end the Manxman had to settle for joint 29th and narrowly miss out on qualification to the European.
Despite missing out, Gandy was in positive spirits and can be rightly proud of his achievements during a stellar year in his career.
’It’s been a great week. It is a bit gutting to come so close but I haven’t had my best game all week so nice to know I can compete and come close despite that. It’s been a great ride right the way from stage one.
’On the positive side, I’ve now got Challenge Tour status and European Tour status so I should get some starts with that which is really exciting.
’Big love to big brother Jay for being chief bag man and to all sponsors and supporters who have helped make this my best season to date.
’No more golf for me until the new year, a much-needed break and to spend some time with loved ones.
’Thanks to everyone back in the island for all the support - I am really looking forward to getting back home.’