A LATE stumble ended former Yorkshire champion Nigel Sweet's impressive attempt to claim a European Senior Tour card in the Qualifying School Final Stage in Portugal.
Sweet began the final round tied 14th, five shots back of the fifth place required to claim playing rights on Tour this season, but was one under through 12 holes at Pestana Golf Resort’s Vale da Pinta course.
He added a birdie at the 12th to those gained at holes two and six, having begun with a bogey and suffering a second at the fifth.
However, three consecutive bogeys from the 15th saw the Leeds Golf Centre's operations manager card a final round 73 after opening with scores of 72 68 and 76.
He finished tied 11th, just three shots outside of a place in the play-off for the final card.
Sweet has played the game for almost four decades at amateur level and as well as claiming the county crown has won the Leeds Amateur championship in four occasions.
"The last two days have been brutal winds and fast greens," said Sweet. "I loved every minute of the challenge - apart from the last hour of it."
Gary Marks prevailed in windy conditions to win by one shot at Pestana, where a play-off was required to decide the fifth and final player to win a Senior Tour card for the 2016 season.
The Englishman’s two-over-par round of 73 was enough for him to finish on two under , one shot ahead of America’s Barry Conser, whose 70 was the best of the day as strong winds made for difficult scoring in the Algarve.Irishman Brendan McGovern – who dedicated his performance to the late Christy O’Connor Jnr – and Sweden’s Magnus P Atlevi also earned their cards, finishing on level par, but Ken Tarling had to beat Brad Smith in a play-off to seal the final spot.