Sebastián García Rodríguez, during the second round of the Mallorca Golf Open. (© Golffile | Phil Inglis)
Bryce easton (-11) is the surprising leader of the Mallorca Golf Open after the second round on tour one of Santa Ponça. As surprising as it is the first time he has led a tournament of the European tour after any round. The 34-year-old South African is a golf globetrotter, which is known in the world as a ‘journeyman’. He has been a professional for ten years and has played wherever he could, wherever they left him: Africa, Asia, Europe, second and third divisions … What he played. Easton is a day laborer who spent an entire year traveling from tournament to tournament without going home to earn a living. What it takes, where it is needed and how it is needed.
Easton is the leader, although for the moment he must be given the provisional label, as he has not been able to complete the second day. Shortly before seven in the afternoon the game was stopped due to lack of light, he was already on the 18th hole but he preferred not to finish. Of course, he has four strokes of advantage, so except for infinite tragedy in 18 he should start the third round as leader of the tournament.
Bryce Easton is 34 years old and has never led a European Tour tournament
Hunting for Easton we have four players, the Dane Jeff Winther (-7), who has endured the pull today with a lap of 71 strokes, and the Spaniards Alvaro Quiros, Jorge Campillo and Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez. Only one stroke from behind we have a pack of seven golfers among which are, among others, Matti schmid, Laurie canter and Sebastian soderberg. Really, beyond the outstanding leader, the classification is very tight. There are 30 players in four strokes.
The three Spaniards who are at the top fight for different objectives. Campillo wants to get into the Dubai Final, Quirós is fighting to keep the full rights of the European Tour and Sebastián García Rodríguez is playing two milestones that he never achieved before in his career. We focus on the Madrid native because his accounts go beyond having the best possible category next year on the European Tour.
The first thing that Sebas is playing is keeping the European Tour card for the first time in his career, which would not be bad at all if we take into account that it is the first time that he has been able to enjoy gaming rights through the Challenge Tour. If we finish in the top 123 of the Race to Dubai, we will see if they are finally 123, 122 or 121 (it depends on whether Sungaje Im and Matti Schmid fall in the classification), Sebas would enjoy for the first time in his career in category 10, which which would allow him to play in every tournament on the regular schedule next year. To tie it up you need to finish here in Santa Ponça at least fifth solo. A sixth could be worth it, but it would be very fair, the same as a fifth tied. Right now, second tied with three others, it would give him plenty to win one more year of the European Tour with all the laws.
Sebas’s dilemma between Portugal and Mayakoba
But the card is not the only thing Sebas is playing this weekend. A dream is also in the air. In two weeks he should make his PGA Tour debut at the Mayakoba tournament. He earned his place in the Villa Magna Qualifier in Madrid. But of course, the Mayakoba week coincides with that of Portugal, the penultimate opportunity to keep the card. If this week doesn’t add up enough and needed an extra push, you’d be forced to sacrifice Mayakoba for playing in Portugal. Of course, a caveat must be made. Right now Sebas is out of Portugal. It does not enter. It is the seventeenth reservation, so even needing it to keep the card could be left out and would have to go to Mayakoba. In the next few days that situation of the reserves could change a lot, although gaining 17 positions seems very complicated.
For all this, Sebas wants to leave everything in order for the next 36 holes and stop doing the math. He could also get into Portugal if he finishes in the top ten here. In this sense, if he finished eighth in Mallorca, for example, he would play in Portugal for the top ten and because he needs more points to retain the playing rights and Mayakoba would be lost. In any case, it is also convenient to make a nuance. Although he does not keep the full rights, Sebas already has a guaranteed category that would at least allow him to play 15 to 20 tournaments next year. Obviously this takes some of the pressure off, as it wouldn’t go completely to nothing.