Excitement is starting to grow at INFINITUM as the final plans are put in place at the stunning Catalonia resort ahead of the return of the DP World Tour’s Qualifying School Final Stage next week following a three-year absence.
The finale of the three-stage competition will take place at the acclaimed Spanish venue from November 11-16, when 156 players will compete over six rounds in a bid to fulfil their DP World Tour dreams.
Final Stage qualifying is the last opportunity for hopefuls to win their DP World Tour playing rights for the 2023 season, and this year’s event will be played over the two 18-hole championship courses at INFINITUM, the Hills and Lakes, the latter of which hosted the ISPS Handa Championship in Spain earlier this season.
The 90-hole qualifying marathon, which offers the top 25 players a place on Europe’s top tier the following season, has provided the platform for some of golf’s most famous names to go on to worldwide success, with Major champions José María Olazábal, Retief Goosen and Sandy Lyle among the list of previous winners since it was first held in 1976.
Final Stage qualifying was first played at INFINITUM in 2017, with England’s Sam Horsfield claiming victory to regain his Tour card along with 32 other players.
A year later, Spain’s Alejandro Cañizares and Zander Lombard, from South Africa, headed a list of 27 players who won their playing rights. Denmark’s Benjamin Poke topped the leaderboard in 2019 – with another 27 joining him in qualification – before the Covid-19 pandemic forced the postponement of the event.
Set to the west of the beautiful city of Tarragona on the Costa Dorada, INFINITUM is regarded as one of Europe’s most popular golf and lifestyle facilities in an area of natural beauty, and the 156-strong line-up will face two very different golfing tests next month.
The venue’s Lakes course was designed by Greg Norman and runs around the wetlands of the Sequia Major. As its name would suggest, water is the layout’s chief defence, testing players and their positional play on no fewer than 14 holes, while players will find the course in outstanding condition following extensive maintenance work this summer to upgrade the fairways from Rye grass to the more sustainable Bermuda Tifway grass.
The neighbouring Hills course poses an altogether different test; several elevated tees and tight landing areas are surrounded by mature, natural pine trees with greens enveloped by towering cliffs. Panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea add to the course’s charms – and it has quickly built a reputation for being one of Spain’s finest layouts.
Agustin Garcia Pascual, chief business officer at INFINITUM, said: “The Qualifying School Final Stage is one of the biggest tournaments of the year and the eyes of the golfing world will be on us next week.
“It’s a great honour to host such an important event again, which signals the start of a new three-year partnership for INFINITUM with the DP World Tour. With the work that has been carried out over the summer, I’m confident that the players will find the courses in better condition than ever and we’re looking forward to another fantastic week of golf.”