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Eleven Brits gain tour cards at Q-School

ESPN staff
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Sam Hutsby's opening round of 60 proved a perfect foundation to gain his tour card © Getty Images
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Eleven British players were among the 37 golfers to secure their playing privileges on the European Tour in 2012 at the conclusion of the final stage of qualifying on Thursday.

After six rounds at the PGA Catalunya course in Girona, Englishman David Dixon finished top of the pile at 21-under - ensuring he claimed the first prize of around £15,000 but, more importantly, will now be able to participate in around 18 events on the European Tour next season.

He was followed by youngster Sam Hutsby, who eased to success after a blistering opening round of 60, along with Walker Cup success story Andy Sullivan and fellow Englishman Richard Bland - who will now be able to embark on his eighth consecutive full season on the tour.

Scotland's Steven O'Hara also made it through after a nerveless final round of 68, before Spaniard Jordi Garcia and Norwegian Knut Borsheim - who had two holes-in-one over the six days - ended the British dominance at the top of the leaderboard.

Further down the leaderboard, Gary Orr, Matthew Nixon and Lloyd Kennedy all slotted comfortably inside the top 30, with Matthew Southgate making the cut with a single shot to spare.

At least that was more comfortable than both Andrew Marshall and Jamie Elson, however, who both squeezed in at a tie for 30th. Elson's story was even more dramatic than that - as he needed to birdie the ninth, his 108th and final hole of the tournament, in order to secure his playing rights for 2012.

Other Brits were not so fortunate, with both Seve Benson and Benn Barham agonisingly slipping outside the crucial seven-under mark over the closing stages.

The full list of the other players who earned their tour cards: Emiliano Grillo, Guillame Cambis, Branden Grace, Joakim Lagergren, Thomas Norret, Bernd Ritthammer, Warren Abery, Darren Fichardt, Adrien Bernadet, Mikael Lundberg, Agustin Domingo, Julien Guerrier, Adrian Otaegui, Wil Besseling, Peter Gustafsson, Reiner Saxton, Alex Haindl, Scott Pinckney, Tjaart van der Walt, Tim Sluiter, HP Bacher, Victor Riu, Taco Remkes and Maarten Lafeber.

Nick Dougherty, who only made one cut all year on tour, compounded a season to forget as he missed the four-round cut.

All players who finished outside the top 30 but played the full six rounds are awarded full membership of the Challenge Tour and conditional membership for certain European Tour events - while players who missed the four-round cut gain conditional membership of the Challenge Tour.

Previous Q-School graduates include Lee Westwood, Padraig Harrington and Darren Clarke.

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