Pro Golf Tour / Gabi Gillen
Léo Mathard, France
Q-School: Léo Mathard dominates with 16 under Par
Pro Golf Tour Qualifying School for 2021
The Pro Golf Tour Qualifying School for the 2021 season was firmly in French hands from the very beginning, and after two rounds on the par-72 course at GC Paderborner Land in Salzkotten, it was a Frenchman who took the winner's trophy and the Q-School winner recommendation: Léo Mathard played 8 under par on both days and secured the top spot on the podium with two rounds of 64; the 2nd and 3rd places at the Q-School also went to players from France.
Salzkotten/Germany – At the beginning of the four-day qualifying marathon on the championship course at GC Paderborner Land, a Frenchman left his mark and at the end it was also a French player who played the final chord. Two pre-qualifying rounds were on the agenda in Salzkotten to start with, and Victor Trehet took his first day's victory with a fantastic round of 62 strokes, a total of 10 under par; the 22-year-old had caused a sensation early on with eight birdies on his first nine holes and set a new course record at GC Paderborner Land in the end.
The second pre-qualifying round the next day was also a purely French affair at the top: Pierre Rabassa took the lead with 67 strokes and was ahead of his compatriots Julien Tholot (68) and Clement Heurtin (69). A total of 45 Frenchmen secured a place in the Q-School’s main field of 96 players for the 2021 season.
Tour golf and lessons
The 36 holes, which decide on the best possible starting position for next season's tournaments, were dominated by Léo Mathard from the very beginning. The 23-year-old, who had already played on the Pro Golf Tour in 2018 and 2019, originally comes from Vieux-Boucau-les-Bains on the French Atlantic coast and learned to play golf on the fairways of Golf de Moliets. Since January of this year, he has been training to become a Teaching Professional at the Golf du Kempferhof course in Plobsheim, where he is coached by French golf legend Laurent Cabanne. "I didn't play on the Pro Golf Tour this year because of my golf instructor training, but next year I want to combine playing on the tour and teaching," says Mathard.
While he was still rather defensive with 73 strokes in his pre-qualifying round, he really turned up the heat in the two Q-School rounds. Tremendous drives were followed by precise irons and safe putts from almost every distance – on the two days he made a total of 15 birdies and two eagles. Mathard: "I'm very happy with my game, the course rewarded good strokes, and fortunately I managed to hit a few of them. I hope I can start the next season well and I am already looking forward to the tournaments." If he then plays as strongly as he did in Salzkotten, he has every reason to look forward to the 2021 season.
The same is true for his compatriots David Ravetto and Paul Margolis, who finished 2nd and 3rd with 10 and 9 under par respectively. Both competed at GC Paderborner Land as amateurs and have now earned the right to start on the Pro Golf Tour 2021.
Category 5 and right to tee off in all tournaments
The final round of the Qualifying School marks the end of the 2020 Pro Golf Tour season, in which 13 of the originally 20 planned Order of Merit tournaments as well as the Q-School rounds could be held. Eleven of the top 20 places in Salzkotten ultimately went to players from France, securing category 5 on the Pro Golf Tour next year and thus the right to tee off in all tournaments.
Every year the Pro Golf Tour holds a Qualifying School, where the participants have the opportunity to qualify for a category for the next season. The Pro Golf Tour is a free tour where professionals and strong amateurs (HCP better than -3.4) can participate and gain experience as a tour player. Having a category is NOT a prerequisite, but definitely advantageous to participate in the Pro Golf Tour tournaments. The better the category, the more likely it is to be able to compete in tournaments with a limited number of players. The player must be a member of the Pro Golf Tour to qualify for the category.
- CAT 1 winner of Pro Golf Tour tournaments 2020
- CAT 2 TOP 30 in the final Pro Golf Tour Order of Merit 2020
- CAT 3 TOP 5 in the Pro Golf Tour Order of Merit 2021 & winner of 2021 Pro Golf Tour tournaments
- CAT 4 TOP 5 in the final Pro Golf Tour Order of Merit 2017-2019
- CAT 5 TOP 20 in the Qualifying School 2020
- CAT 6 12 invitations to the Pro Golf Tour
- CAT 7 Players who rank 31-65 in the final Pro Golf Tour Order of Merit 2020
- CAT 8 Players who rank 21-60 in the Qualifying School 2020
- CAT 9 Players who rank 66-90 in the final Pro Golf Tour Order of Merit 2020
- CAT 10 Players who rank 61-90 in the Qualifying School 2020