Relieved Manley ready for World Cup shot after Q School stress

Stuart Manley
Stuart Manley celebrates the moment he secured his European Tour card at Q School

Job security, a baby on the way and now a chance at World Cup glory - it has been a very good few days for Welshman Stuart Manley.

The Aberdare golfer, a player who has never won a tournament on the European Tour, was looking at a very difficult 2017 just a few days ago after failing to accrue enough ranking points to retain his card.

That meant the shoot-out of Q School, where 30 cards go on offer to hundreds of golfers desperate to retain their status, but who know that one bad round will mean a year of golfing anonymity where earning power is hugely diminished.

For Manley, whose wife Nicola is expecting their first child, that meant sleepless nights and anxiety, especially with another mouth to feed.

However, the 37-year old did manage to secure one of the all-important cards, meaning he joins compatriots Bradley Dredge and Jamie Donaldson on the European Tour next season.

And after Donaldson's withdrawal, Manley also received a last-gasp invitation to partner Dredge at the World Cup in Melbourne, Australia, an event that has returned to the golf calendar after a three-year hiatus.

Dredge is a former World Cup winner, having lifted the trophy in 2005 with Stephen Dodd and Manley admits that the chance to win big money and represent his country has put a big smile on his face.

Stuart Manley action shot
Stuart Manley watches a shot during his bid for a Tour card at Q School last week

Q School glory

Manley says the pressure of Q School took a big toll on him and his family.

"I feel amazing. I haven't really been able to sleep with the excitement of getting a full Tour card back," he told BBC Wales Sport.

"I have been there a few times before and Q School is a nerve-wracking time, you don't sleep very well, you can't really concentrate on anything else.

"If you don't get through, you are almost not working for the following year. So financially, there is a lot of pressure. I have just moved house, have bills to pay, a first baby on the way, so there was a lot of pressure.

"I think the family get more nervous than me, scanning the internet and pressing refresh [to check his progress]. I think they worry more than me.

"My wife Nicola can take a year off work now with the baby coming.

"It is our first baby and hopefully they can travel with me a bit as well.

"I am delighted that I can now look forward to 2017 on the European Tour."

Dodd and Dredge
Stephen Dodd and Bradley Dredge won the World Cup in 2005 and earned £400,000 each

World Cup glory for Wales?

Wales have triumphed twice in the World Cup, in 2005 and also 1987 when David Llewellyn and Ian Woosnam won in Maui, Hawaii.

Manley is hopeful that with his game being in good shape, Wales can again compete for victory. They begin their bid when they tee off with Canada ton Wednesday evening.

"Going off to the World Cup, it's exciting times," Manley said.

"My game is actually in a great place at the moment, the last couple of years I have been steady.

"I just want that next step up now. I am really excited to represent Wales.

"I think it will be a fun week, especially now I have got my card.

"Bradley and I will go out and have some fun.

"It is a format we haven't played since we were amateurs together, but we will really enjoy representing Wales.

"It means everything to put that red shirt on and see the flag flying high.

"Bradley is playing great, I am playing solid, hopefully the course suits us and there is no reason why we can't contend. We could have a good finish and get into contention."

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