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Darren Clarke

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Gloss On Matt Finish

It’s not often I have so much to say after a weekend when we haven’t had a winner, but in more ways than one, we had several players who proved themselves to be true champions. 

None more so than Matt Nixon, one of our young thrusters you will be hearing a lot about in the coming years.   For the last 10 weeks – that’s two-and-a-half months of solid pressure, doubt and anxiety – Matt has been hovering right on the cusp of those who will keep their playing privileges and those who will have to look elsewhere for their income.

The top 111 are safe and since the middle of August, Matt has ranged from 109-111.   In fact he went into the final qualifying event in Australia knowing that he must make the cut and probably finish in the top 25 to have any chance.

It wasn’t looking too healthy after one round, but he finally eased his way into a weekend where he could determine his own future.   A tie for 23rd was just enough to make it.

Matt has shown immense courage and determination this season and it will serve him in good stead for the rest of his career.   Make no mistake, he will be doing everything he possibly can to ensure he no longer has to go through the torture of 2014.   Remember the name.  He’s going places.

The same can be said of Pete Uihlein, who already has a Tour win under his belt and is now emerging from a few months every golfer goes through at some time of their careers. 

A top 10 in Australia was another step in the right direction and Pete will soon be back in the winner’s enclosure to continue what I am convinced will be a glittering career.

Similar awaits Matt Fitzpatrick, who has dedicated himself to the Challenge Tour of late in a bid to avoid Tour School.  A magical last round took him into sixth in China last week and up to 46th in the ranking from just eight events – less than half of what the majority have played.  He now needs a decent week in Oman to get into the Tour’s finale in Dubai.  It is well within his capabilities.

It was also a good week for Noh Seung-Yul, who finished second at the Kolon Korean Open.

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