26th Oct 2015
Ben finally came to the end of an emotional roller coaster in Hong Kong today with a European Tour card safely secured for the 2016 season.
Ben arrived at the UBS Hong Kong Open knowing he needed a great performance to finish in the top 110 in the Race to Dubai and secure his playing rights for 2016.
Having made the cut on the number, he set about the task in hand. His third round 66 moved him into a tie for 23rd befiore a Saturday afternoon freak shoulder injury almost caused his withdrawal. Only the expert care of physiotherapist Phillipa Stewart saved the day.
“I must have leant on it awkwardly but I could hardly move it on Saturday night,” said Ben. “It was a bit better in the morning and Philippa the physio was amazing, she got the shoulder moving and I felt I could just about make it round.”
After a birdie, bogey start Ben ground out pars until the 11th, where he started a run of birdies, coming home in a stunning 31 strokes for a closing 65 and nine under par total.
Having finished his round and with 12 players still in the reckoning Ben briefly held 8th place, then 9th, before finally fininshing at the completion of play tied 11th. This left Ben a mere €1,000 behind Renato Paratore who was clutching on to the final 110 R2D spot for 2016.
Ben was finally elevated to safety and the coveted top 110 when world number 12, American Brooks Koepka withdrew from the final 2 events of the season, leading to his removal from the rankings for failing to complete the minimum number of events required during the 2015 season.
Ben is next expected to tee it up at the Alfred Dunhill Championship at the stunning Leopard Creek Country Club at the end of November in the 2016 season opening event.