Luke Sport Golfers Class Of 2015
MARK FOSTER: A member of the victorious 1995 Walker Cup team at Royal Porthcawl alongside Stephen Gallacher, Padraig Harrington and David Howell. After a highly successful amateur career, which included back-to-back English Amateur Championships in 1994 and 1995, progress proved difficult. Gained a card in 1996 but played just eight European Tour events after suffering a back injury. Underwent surgery in 1998 and got his career back on track a year later, only to miss the cut at the Qualifying School. Topped the Challenge Tour Rankings in 2001 after two wins. Claimed his first European Tour title at the beginning of 2003, winning the dunhill championship in South Africa after a six-man play-off. Enjoyed his most successful season to date in 2011, finishing 32nd in The Race to Dubai after four top tens, including two runner-up finishes, at the Alstom Open de France and the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.
STEVE WEBSTER: Will play a 20th consecutive season on The European Tour in 2015 after a steady, 2014 campaign. Shared the lead heading into the final day of the 2014 Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, eventually finishing in a tie for fifth before replicating that result a week later at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Claimed an emotional victory in the inaugural Portugal Masters in 2007, dedicating his win to the memory of his mother Val, who had died five months previously. Having dad Terry in the crowd watching him hole the winning putt made the victory extra special for Webster, whose only previous European Tour success came at the Telecom Italia Open in 2005 - a decade after he won the Qualifying School Final Stage.
MATTHEW NIXON: Had a nail-biting finish to the 2014 season when, with one event left, he occupied the last place to maintain full playing rights, but made the cut in the ISPS HANDA Perth International to secure a third consecutive season on The European Tour. Developed nerves of steel in gaining his card at the Qualifying School Final Stage in 2010 (as an amateur), 2011 and 2012. An avid Formula One fan, he graduated from plastic clubs to real ones aged five before joining Ashton Under Lyne Golf Club near his home in Manchester – the club he is still attached to – at seven. Highlight of his amateur career was his victory at the British Boys Championship in 2006 at Royal Aberdeen.
SIMON WAKEFIELD: Finished 134th in The Race to Dubai in 2013, but put that disappointment behind him to secure an immediate return to The European Tour by claiming the 13th card at the Qualifying School Final Stage. That was the fourth time he had successfully negotiated the School, and he has also twice graduated from the Challenge Tour Rankings, most recently in 2012. Was unlucky to lose his playing privileges in 2011, finishing 124th despite being runner-up in the Austrian Open, where he lost a play-off to Kennie Ferrie. Won the Qualifying School Final Stage in 2010, and in 2008 tied for 19th at The Open Championship having briefly challenged for the lead.
SCOTT HENRY: Enjoyed the finest moment of his career when he won the lucrative Kazakhstan Open in 2012, beating HP Bacher in a play-off to win the €64,000 first prize. Holed a 25ft putt for birdie at the 72nd hole to force the play-off, and gave his father, whom he credits as the biggest influence on his game, the perfect birthday present by claiming his first Challenge Tour title. That helped him to 11th place in the Rankings and secured a rookie season on The European Tour in 2013.