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MADRID (Reuters) - Five years after playing a part in Europe's Ryder Cup triumph in Wales, Edoardo Molinari must go through the trials and tribulations of six rounds of golf at Qualifying School in Spain in order to claim his tour card.
The 34-year-old Italian has endured a torrid season, plunging to 158th place on the money list after missing 10 cuts in 22 events.
Molinari is one of 156 players chasing a tour card at the PGA Catalunya Resort in Girona, with the top 25 and ties earning a place among Europe's elite next season.
"It's always a very long week, very stressful, and you need to be careful not to waste too much energy in the first few days because it’s almost like a marathon," the double European Tour winner said in a news release on Friday.
"You just have to be patient and play good golf and that will take care of everything else," said Molinari who made his Ryder Cup debut alongside younger brother Francesco at Celtic Manor in 2010.
"Experience always helps but I think the most important thing is to play well, play good golf shots, and everything else will be fine."
Francesco Molinari has fared better than his sibling, sitting 44th on the money list.
Rookie professional Paul Dunne, who was still an amateur when he shared the lead going into the final round of the British Open at St Andrews in July, is also in the field at Q School.
"Hopefully, it'll be a good week but if it's not, it's not the end of the world, I'll still have playing opportunities next year," said the 22-year-old Irishman.
"I’m just excited for the opportunity and hopefully I can play well, keep my composure and hit good shots at the right time. Everyone is going to hit bad shots so it’s a case of making par when you do."
Writing by Tony Jimenez; Editing by Ed Osmond