WHEN Danny Willett ended his 953-day wait for a tournament triumph at the Dubai World Tour Championship on Sunday, his success also brought an end to another European Tour season.

If he thought things had not been going too well during his two year wait since winning the Masters in 2016, then spare a thought for the North-East’s European Tour pros battling for a card.

Numbers from this region on Tour are normally pretty low anyway, but even more so this year, particularly with Hartlepool’s Graeme Storm sidelined with a wrist injury.

But there was at least one of the North-East’s own in action at the end of season showpiece in Dubai, with Hexham’s Chris Paisley impressing there too.

Twelve months ago it was Storm’s time to return to that stage, while this time around Paisley was able to cap a memorable season by finishing tied 34th and with a final pay cheque of around £50,000.


Age: 32

Tournaments in 2018: 17

Best finish: Won the BMW SA Open

Missed cuts: 6

Race to Dubai: 51

World ranking: 143

Paisley took a big gamble in moving to Florida to set up base and it has proven worthwhile. Even though his form dipped, he had already done enough in the early months to secure his card for 2019 by claiming his maiden European Tour title at the BMW SA Open in January.

It was the same event won by Storm the previous year and was the start of a period of five tournaments in a row where he was in the money. He has also finished the year strongly by following up good showings at the Turkish Airlines Open with a tied ninth at the Nedbank Golf Challenge and Dubai World Tour Championship.


Age: 40

Tournaments in 2018: 8

Best finish: Tied 50 at Maybank Championship

Missed cuts: 5

Race to Dubai: 258

World ranking: 375

Whatever could go wrong, did go wrong for the two time winner on the European Tour. What was supposed to have been a year for him to carry on the momentum of last year, when he won the South African Open, just failed to get started.

Storm headed back to South Africa last January looking to shine. He knew he was carrying a wrist problem and that ruined his calendar.

After missing the weekend, he missed cuts in Abu Dhabi and Dubai before finishing tied 50 at the Maybank Championship. That brought a first cheque of the year of around £9,000 but he was still not comfortable.

He battled with injury, had injections to ease the pain, but he couldn’t perform. After disappointing in India, Spain and Morocco, where he withdrew in pain after round two, his season was over. Surgery was required. Now he waits to see what medical exemption he is afforded.


Age: 32

Tournaments in 2018: 8

Best finish: Tied 23 at Andalucia Match Play

Missed cuts: 5

Challenge Tour rank: 180

World ranking: 1808

After losing his Tour card last year, 2018 was always going to be a challenge on the second tier and that was how it proved. The Harrogate man had his injury battles too and was never able to secure the sort of finish to earn him the right to rejoin the top table in 2019.

Things looked up in May when he finished 23rd in Andalucia but in the end he was forced to go to Tour School. After qualifying impressively from second stage, he missed out by finishing 128th in final qualifying.


Age: 40

Tournaments in 2018: 14

Best finish: Tied 42 at KPMG Trophy

Missed cuts: 6

Challenge Tour rank: 209

World ranking: 1985

Malton & Norton’s Dyson never looked like reclaiming his European Tour place. The six-time title winner did get a couple of appearances at the KLM Open and Alfred Dunhill Championship but missed the cut in both.

Despite his pedigree, Dyson never got going on the Challenge Tour and he only earned just over £1,000 this year. He also missed out at final qualifying in Tour School so faces an uncertain 2019.