John Kemp turns pro after earning card at Euro Senior Tour Q-School


John Kemp will call time on his amateur career to pursue life in the professional ranks after securing a card at the European Senior Tour Qualifying School. Kemp was one of five players to earn cards at Pestana Golf Resort in Portugal.

The Woburn Golf Club member took a one-shot lead into the final round but had to settle for second place behind Argentina’s Rafael Gomez. Kemp posted scores of 75, 67, 67 and 72 for a 3-under 281, four shots behind Gomez.

Englishmen Paul Streeter and David Shacklady earned the third and fourth cards on 1 under and 1 over respectively. Gomez’s compatriot Mauricio Molina took the final card by defeating Paraguay’s Angel Franco in a playoff after they finished joint sixth on 2 over.

Kemp was bidding to become the first amateur to win the Senior Tour Qualifying School since Denis O’Sullivan in 1997.

“It’s a bit of a shock,” Kemp said. “I probably played my worst golf of the week out there today, but it was all about the result. I was watching the boards as I went around the course, so I knew what I needed to do.

“I was a little bit anxious but I managed to grind it out on the back nine. The guys I play with back home will say that I can get a score even if I’m not playing at my best.”

Kemp will have local knowledge in one event on this year’s European Senior Tour, now the Staysure Tour. The Travis Perkins Senior Masters is played over Woburn’s Dukes course.

“It’s fantastic that I’ll get the chance to play on my home course on the Tour. That’s something I’ll be looking forward to.”

Kemp turns his back on an amateur career that includes three British Mid-Amateur victories, and the 2013 English Mid-Amateur. He also qualified for two Open Championships.
Gomez rebounded from an opening 80 with scores of 66, 65 and 66.

“I worked out what was wrong after my first round and put it behind me,” Gomez said. “I promised my family that I would win.”

The 20-tournamet Staysure Tour begins on March 8 with the Sharjah Senior Golf Masters in the UAE.

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