Pga Tour, 15-year-old amateur player qualifies

Eric West, Scott Roy and Oliver Betschart are the three players who have won the right to start the Bermuda Championship from November 9 to 12 on the PGA Tour

by Andrea Gussoni
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Pga Tour, 15-year-old amateur player qualifies
© Getty Images Sport - Kevin C. Cox / Staff

Three players have earned the right to play their first PGA Tour tournament next month. Among them, a young 15-year-old amateur player who finished second in the qualifying event over three rounds held on the Port Royal course in Southampton, Bermuda.

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Eric West, Scott Roy and Oliver Betschart are the three players who have won the right to start the Bermuda Championship from November 9 to 12 on the PGA Tour. They obtained their ticket by finishing in the first three places in the qualifying tournament scheduled 3 weeks before on the same track which will host the Fall Series event of the 2023 season won last year by Seamus Power ahead of Thomas Detry.

Amateur Eric West, 39, won these local 54-hole qualifiers with a 4-shot lead over another amateur player but aged 15, Oliver Betschart, and over the pro, Scott Roy. When his qualification was official, the young man had all the difficulty in the world to hold back his tears of joy.

Especially since last year, he suddenly missed the feat! “This has been my goal for the season and now it’s done. I'm having a hard time realizing it but I'm really super excited,” the teenager told The Royal Gazette.

Pointing to 6 shots before the last round, the young man returned a card of 68 which propelled him onto the podium thanks to a crazy comeback with three birdies. This is the first time since 2013 that such a young player will start a major American circuit tournament.

That year, the Chinese Tianlang Guan even hit the headlines by making the Masters cut at… 14 years old! In 2019, in this same tournament, another 15-year-old player took the start. It was Kenny Leseur but the latter was 6 months older than Oliver Betschart.

The PGA Tour is an organization that hosts major professional golf tours in the United States. It is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, a suburb of Jacksonville, Florida. Its official name is written in all capital letters, namely "PGA TOUR".

The PGA Tour became its own organization in 1968, when it split from the PGA of America, which is now primarily an association of golf professionals, such as instructors and club managers. The tournament players first formed their own organization, the Association of Professional Golfers (APG).

Subsequently, in 1968, the players abolished the APG and agreed to operate as the PGA "Tournament Players Division", a completely autonomous division of the PGA, under the supervision of a new 10-member Tournament Policy Board.

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