Woodhall Spa golfer Nathan Kimsey will compete against the world’s top stars next year after securing his European Tour card - and in the best possible style.
The former Walker Cup star produced the performance of his career to win the Tour’s qualifying school in Spain earlier today (Thursday).
Played over a marathon six rounds, Kimsey came out on top with a total of 13 under par.
It was a remarkable performance from the Woodhall Spa man as several big name players finished well-down the field and failed to clinch a card.
Kimsey’s victory means he will be competing for some of golf’s richest prizes in 2017 against the likes of Danny Willett, Lee Westwood and Justin Rose.
Kimsey said: “I literally have no words.
“Going out there today I was just trying to keep the nerves down and keep calm, keep making good swings, find greens and make it easy for myself just to stay in the top 25 – I couldn’t have even thought about winning at all.
“Coming down 15 and making birdie was the final point where I thought I was comfortable for making my card, so then I tried to be a bit aggressive coming in and made a birdie on 16, then I knew I just needed to two-putt on the last to win.
“Becoming a European Tour player means everything right now. Having to come through from First Stage after not the best of years and to get a full card, it’s crazy to think I’ve done it.
“It’s tough to do that, coming through the whole thing. Having to play Second Stage and come straight to Final Stage, back-to-back, it’s a tough week this week regardless but to come from the nerves in Second Stage just to be here, you have to try to keep mentally strong and play some good golf.
“The last two days have been up there in terms of how nervous I’ve ever been on a golf course up until this point, so to come through both of them under par for those two rounds is so pleasing and I’ll hopefully draw on that for confidence in the future.
“I’ve got some of my family and friends around so I’m sure we’ll do a little bit of celebrating – they’ve been here all week and it’s been great to have them here supporting me and helping me succeed.”
What’s even more amazing is that Kimsey’s success comes after a difficult year on the European Tour’s satellite circuit.
The qualifying school was played at the PGA Catalunya Rest course - one of Europe’s top lay-outs.
Kimsey boosted his hopes in the fourth round with a birdied laced 61, believed to be the lowest round of the week.
With two rounds left, he slipped back to second place yesterday (Wednesday) with a one-over par effort.
However, he showed his strength and steel over the final 18 holes today to triumph.
Kimsey (23) said: I can’t quite put it into words really.”
He was cheered on by his dad Paul while an army of friends watched his progress back in Woodhall Spa.