The 2020 Race to Dubai season is over, and wouldn’t you know it, the European Tour’s most visible supporter during the Covid-19 obstacle course won the sparkly tower thingy.
I don’t think the (depleted) comms department at Wentworth could have drawn it up any better than Lee Westwood, who mostly stayed at home and embraced the strict bubble imposed, winning the whole shooting match.
Matt Fitzpatrick won the scary-looking mace thingy in what was a decently entertaining DP World (pause) Championship.
So having everything signed off, it’s time for T2G’s annual Scots tour player report card. I’m being kind this year because of the exceptional circumstances in which the tour operated, valiantly redrawing a schedule three months in and somehow getting 27 tournaments shoe-horned into the chaos of 2020.
Anyway, in Race to Dubai finishing order, here they are…
ROBERT MACINTYRE RACE TO DUBAI (R2D) 23rd, best 1st, Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Showdown
In the end he was 10 spots down on his 2019 campaign, but the Oban lefty was actually in with a shout of winning the sparkly tower thing on Sunday morning as the Race to Dubai drew to a close before a closing 77. That occasional lapse still annoys, but otherwise Bob overcame lockdown troubles, picked up his first Tour win, and is probably vexed 2020 has to end now. Rating: A
MARC WARREN R2D 48th, best 1st, Austrian Open
When I spoke to Warren early in lockdown, he was still contemplating a different career path. Happily he got his drive back and won the first time back out in Austria, carrying his own sticks, no less. He was also in the mix at the Scottish Open, in Dubai, and missed the cut only twice in his last ten events. A much-welcomed renaissance. Rating: A
CONNOR SYME R2D 65th, best 3rd, Celtic Classic
The best of the young Scots to move forward in the odd environment of the 2020 Tour. Might have won twice in Wales in successive weeks, but was in the top 12 eight times both sides of lockdown and signed off nicely in Dubai in his DP World debut. More progress coming, you feel. Rating: B+
SCOTT JAMIESON R2D 70th, best 6th, Alfred Dunhill Championship
Flitting between home in Florida and the tour, Jamieson had his most consistent season in quite a while, missing just three cuts and having four top tens without really threatening his second tour title. While his best finish was in South Africa, his best performance was really Abu Dhabi. Rating: B
GRANT FORREST R2D 72nd, best 4th, Mauritius Open
Still waiting for the really big breakthrough his talent merits, but Forrest moved forward late in the season with his 63 in Dubai to finish sixth and make the DP World finale for the first time. Rating: C+
DAVID DRYSDALE R2D 86th, best 2nd, Qatar Masters
Cruelly denied that precious first tour title in three play-off holes in Qatar in the last event before lockdown, Double D struggled in the new environment with just one top ten in Cyprus. Yet the toughest Scottish competitor is still there, passing 500 starts on his way to his 17th successive season. Rating: C
CALUM HILL R2D 101st, best 8th, Wales Open
Signs of his class abounded, but consistency over four rounds eluded him apart from the first UK Swing. He’d have retained his card anyway in normal circumstances, but you hope for a kick-on in 2021. Rating: C-
RICHIE RAMSAY R2D 114th, best 20th, BMW PGA Championship
Just one top 20, albeit a good one, was a tough return for Ramsay who played everything but Valderrama after lockdown – maybe too much, on reflection? Still as driven as ever, though. Rating: D
CRAIG HOWIE R2D 144th, best 5th, UK Championship
The Borderer did really well taking advantage of playing opportunities due to the post-lockdown fields, his 65 at the Belfry auguring well. He’ll be back on the Challenge Tour full-time in 2021, but with every chance of promotion, one would think. Rating: B
EWEN FERGUSON R2D 156th, 14th, Irish Open
Ferguson showed he can play with the best in Ireland, Valderrama, the Scottish and at the Fairmont, if he can put some Challenge Tour results together in 2021. Rating: C
STEPHEN GALLACHER R2D 173rd, 21st, Saudi International
A good season to write off for Stevie, who suffered a crushing family loss during lockdown. His best post-lockdown performance came in his final event in Dubai. Rating: D
DAVID LAW R2D 175th, 25th, South African Open
A 64 to re-start the season at the British Masters augured well, but David rarely showed that kind of form again and little consistency round to round. It didn’t matter with all cards being retained, but he needs a lift coming into 2021. Rating: D
LIAM JOHNSTON R2D 218th, 14th, Portugal Masters
Liam’s reputation as a streaky kind of player manifested itself again with three strong performances at the end of the first UK Swing, but didn’t make a cut at any other time. Rating: D-
As well as Howie, Ferguson and Johnston, there’s a batch of young Scots on next year’s Challenge Tour and we would hope two or three can gain promotion, whatever schedule is finally arrived at.