Race to Dubai hopefuls ready for critical two weeks
Sky Sports British Masters offers crucial chance to secure European Tour card
Last Updated: 08/10/18 4:37pm
The weekend's action at St Andrews brought plenty of movement in the Race to Dubai standings, but with only two more events for players to secure their card for next season, there is plenty on the line at this week's Sky Sports British Masters.
Lucas Bjerregaard's victory in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Sunday - on the back of seven top-10 finishes this year - lifted him from 25th to 10th in the standings, after he finished 57th in last year's Race to Dubai.
But further down things are a little more nervous with just the Walton Heath tournament and next week's Andalucia Masters remaining for players to ensure they finish in the top 110 and are teeing it up on tour next year.
Scotland's Stephen Gallacher did himself plenty of favours at the home of golf. Despite stuttering on the final day and falling from third to finish 10th at St Andrews, his payday was enough to lift him away from the cut-off point up to 76th - and he might still harbour hopes of making the top 60 and playing in Dubai at the lucrative DP World Tour Championship next month.
He is certainly looking forward to Walton Heath - "I love that course, it plays a lot like a links" - but either way, he looks to have confirmed his entry for the 2019 season.
Australia's Marcus Fraser also faded in tough conditions on Sunday, closing with a 77 to finish alongside Gallacher in 10th - ending any realistic hopes he had of finishing inside the top 110 - but his compatriot Lucas Herbert marked his seventh top-10 finish of the season with a rise to 50th in the rankings.
On the Bubble - Top 110 retain card
This week will have nearly four million Race to Dubai points up for grabs, with 2.3m the following week in Spain, and one of those currently outside the top 110 in 114th place is the 2016 British Masters runner-up Bernd Wiesberger, who has not played since the end of April because of ongoing wrist problems and is 17,000 points adrift of 110th-placed Bradley Dredge.
However, the Austrian No 1's win at the Shenzhen International last year earned him a two-year exemption, so he is free to continue to rehabilitation safe in the knowledge that his card is safe.
As for those battling for a place in Dubai, England's Danny Willett is just 5,000 points behind 60th-placed Jens Dantorp, with Oliver Fisher in 64th, a further 30,000 points back.
Positive displays at Walton Heath will go a long way to booking their spot in the UAE.
Further down, Martin Kaymer is 72nd and Graeme McDowell 73rd, but McDowell's fellow Ryder Cup vice-captain Lee Westwood is currently safe in 45th.
On the Bubble - Top 60 qualify for World Tour Championship
All three are playing at Walton Heath and events in Surrey over the next few days are sure to be influential in deciding the field for Andalucia in a week's time.
The next stop on the European Tour is the Sky Sports British Masters and there will be live coverage throughout the week beginning with the Hero Challenge from 6.30pm on Tuesday.