Philip Walton amongst 39 who gain Tour cards
Ireland's Philip Walton, who holed the winning putt at the 1995 Ryder Cup, was among 39 players who earned European Tour cards after the sixth round of the qualifying school finals on Tuesday.
Walton, 42, fired a one-under-par 71 to tie for 15th at San Roque Golf Club in Cadiz, regaining the tour playing privileges he had forfeited in 1999.
He finished at four-over 436, 13 strokes behind winner Peter Gustafsson of Sweden, who carded a 68.
"The stress out there was unreal," a jubilant Walton told reporters. "It's been a six-round marathon and I'm a sprinter.
"This was going to be my last attempt at tour school," added the Irishman, who had tried to regain his card every year since 1999.
"I'm pretty sure I would have given up golf if it hadn't worked out this week."
Britain's Simon Wakefield finished second, three adrift of Gustafsson, after returning a 75 while Frenchman Francois Delamontagne was a further shot back in third at five-under 427, after a 76.
Australian Jarrod Moseley, forced to return to tour school after finishing one place and just 13 euros ($16.87) outside the automatic qualifiers in the season-ending European order of merit, also regained his card.
Moseley, winner of the Heineken Classic on his European Tour debut in 1999, shot a final-round 70 for a share of 25th at six-over 438.
"It feels like I've shot a 59 and not 70, that's the hardest round I've ever played," said the 32-year-old from Perth.
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