Barbieri surges late to win Q-School Final Stage - PGA of Australia

Barbieri surges late to win Q-School Final Stage

Nathan Barbieri clinched the 2024/25 Challenger PGA Tour of Australia Qualifying School’s Final Stage by running down all-the-way leader Max Charles before winning a three-man sudden-death playoff at Moonah Links today.

The Sydney professional went birdie-birdie-birdie-birdie-eagle over his final five holes on the Open Course to card an 8-under-par 64 and finish the 72 holes at 16-under, level with Victorian Charles (69) and New Zealand’s Denzel Ieremia (65).

Ieremia birdied the par-5 final hole, while Charles could only manage a par.

After the first two playoff holes were squared with pars, Barbieri clinched the win by rolling in a metre-long birdie putt after a pinpoint gap wedge approach on the par-4 10th hole.

By winning Q-School, the 27-year-old from Monash earns a start in all Challenger PGA Tour of Australia tournaments next season, including the big three – the Australian Open, Australian PGA and New Zealand Open.

Although he has been a regular on leaderboards since turning professional in 2020, Barbieri was coming off a disappointing season on the 2023/24 campaign, falling to 54th place on the Order of Merit.

After losing his place in the top 50 on the final day of season, his Tour status for 2024/25 received a significant upgrade thanks to today’s success.

“I hadn’t been playing too good but I felt like it clicked maybe the second round in New Zealand and then I played well in the last event at The National,” Barbieri said.

“Winning here is massive.

“I can plan my schedule now which is awesome.

“I came here for one reason – to win it – and I’ve done it so that’s very good.”

Charles will consider himself very unlucky to miss out on the rewards that top spot offers after starting the day with a four-shot lead and shooting a steady 3-under 69.

He only dropped shots on three of the 75 holes he played, the majority of them as the joint or outright leader.

“Max and Denzel played great all day. It was a good battle,” Barbieri said.

“There were a few nerves on that final putt. I didn’t actually think I’d be that nervous and it almost went right on me as well. I was happy to get it.”

Thirty-six players gained Tour cards for 2024/25 – and inclusion in Category 14 – by finishing at 2-over-par or better, including amateurs Tyler Duncan (Qld), Segunda Oliva Pinto (Argentina), Siddharth Nadimpalli (Vic), Jordan Doull (WA), Ben Henkel (Vic), Jye Pickin (NSW) and Ryan Ang (Singapore).

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