Race to Dubai bubble: Players fighting for European Tour future
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 18/10/16 4:48pm
The Race to Dubai regular season reaches its climax this week at the Portugal Masters, where a number of players are fighting for their European Tour future.
This week's event is the last chance for players to guarantee their playing rights for the 2017 campaign, with only those ranked inside the top 110 on the Race to Dubai after the close of play on Sunday retaining their card.
Those sitting 110th or higher can then compete in the Final Series still with a chance of breaking in to the top 60 and qualifying for the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, with the rest facing an uncertain future and a likely trip to Qualifying School.
We take a look at some of the players "on the bubble" and with a lot to play for in the coming days...
106th - Florian Fritsch - Despite playing a restricted schedule due to his fear of flying, the German drives to Portugal with his fate still in his own hands after three top-10s in his past five starts.
107th - Scott Jamieson - The Scot shot up 10 places in the standings with a top-30 finish at The Grove last week and returns to Portugal with fond memories, having narrowly missed out on a '59' round when appearing there in 2013.
111th - Eddie Pepperell - He narrowly missed out on Irish Open victory and broke in to the world's top 100 on his way to the season finale in Dubai last year, but has struggled in 2016 and finished tied-22nd at last week's British Masters.
114th - Jason Scrivener - The Australian posted three top-10s in early-season co-sanctioned events but has done little since, missing the cut in seven of his nine starts during the summer stretch.
115th - Oliver Fisher - A final-round 80 at last week's British Masters saw the former Czech Open winner drop further down the standings and leaves him in need of a big week in Portugal.
120th- Ben Evans - The Englishman shot a final-round 65 in the last qualifying event in 2015 to end tied-11th in Hong Kong, which was enough to end the season in 110th spot and retain his card.
What is Q-school?
For those not retaining their card, qualifying school is a lengthy process where hundreds of players battle it out over several stages to try and secure their European Tour status.
The first qualifying stage has already been completed, with hundreds of prospective professionals featuring at one of eight venues across Europe over four days.
Around a quarter of those have qualified for the second qualifying stage, which is held around four courses in Spain next month, before the field is whittled down further for gruelling six-round final stage in Catalunya.
How do players get through Q-school?
Those who finish in the top 25 and ties at the Final Stage of qualifying secure full playing rights on the European Tour, with those who make the cut but finish below that point only earning partial membership. Any player that misses the cut at the PGA Catalunya Resort faces a season off on the Challenge Tour.
Who can extend their European Tour season? Watch the Portugal Masters live throughout the week on Sky Sports 4 - your home of golf. Live coverage begins on Thursday from 11am.