Gandy Returns to Form in The Alps

Graeme GaultNews, TomsBlog

Rowany golfing star, Tom Gandy, emphatically put an indifferent few months firmly behind him over the weekend with an excellent finish in the Challenge Tour’s Euram Open. Held in the picturesque mountains of Austria, the event saw Tom record his first Top 10 result of 2021.

It had been a slow couple of months for the Manxman following his career-best finish on the full European Tour in Tenerife in early May, but the combination of a freshening break back at home on the Island, and the recent accolade of winning the 2020 Isle of Man Sportsman of the Year title, combined to see a big uptick in form. Despite play being interrupted on a number of the days by heavy rain and thunderstorms, Tom kept both his focus and his form, putting together excellent rounds of 65, 67, 69, 66 for a 13 under par total and a tie for 8th place. He even managed to plant the Manx flag atop of the leaderboard for an hour or so on Day 2, as he set the pace among the early starters. In another milestone, this finish sees him break into the Top 1000 golfers in the world for the first time, according to the Official World Golf Rankings – another great achievement.

© Charlotte Pearce

This week sees Tom return to action on the full European Tour, as he tees it up at the Celtic Manor resort in the Cazoo Open. With an increased prize fund – and more ranking points on offer – Tom will be hoping for a repeat performance to take him to the end of this mini-run of events before he takes another well-earned break at home.

With the stern test posed by the Celtic Manor course, another four sub-70 rounds should again see the Isle of Man flag flying at the right end of the leaderboard.

2020 Isle of Man Sportsman of the Year

Graeme GaultNews, TomsBlog

Rowany Golf Club’s European Tour professional, Tom Gandy, tasted success for the second consecutive year at the 2020 Isle of Man Sports Awards, as he adding the 2020 Sportsman of the Year title to the 2019 Sports Ambassador of the Year accolade he won last year. The award was hugely well-deserved as 2020 was a breakthrough season for Tom, seeing him step up from competing on the EuroPro Tour, primarily within the UK, to taking the Manx flag around the globe, contesting events as far afield as South Africa, Italy and Spain. This move into the most exalted golfing circles in Europe, saw him tee it up beside Major winners and household names on the full European Tour. He played a total of 8 top-level events during the season, with his best finish coming in the Portugal Masters, where he finished in a Tie for 36th.

In his acceptance speech, recorded from his hotel room in Denmark where he is currently inside the European Tour ‘bubble’, Tom highlighted the outstanding support he has received throughout his career from Isle of Man Sports, including Sports Aid funding. He also took the opportunity to recognise the difficulties of his fellow sportsmen and sportswomen – some of whom have not been able to compete at all over the past 12 months due to Covid – and paid tribute to the other great athletes from the island, past and present.

“The Isle of Man is becoming a great sporting nation and I’m proud to represent our Island. To be named the Sportsman of the Year is beyond belief, really.”

Although the level of competition remains fierce, Tom is continuing his progress from 2020 into 2021, recording a new best result of Tied 27th in the Canary Islands Championship in early May. This included an 8 under par round of 63 in Round 2 – his best round to date on the Tour.

Depending on the impact of Covid on the European calendar, Tom’s plan is to continue to compete in a mix of full European Tour and Challenge Tour events as he looks to establish himself as a European Tour regular and carry the Triskelion to all of the top events across the continent – and beyond.

Gandy aims for a strong finish

Graeme GaultTomsBlog

As the end of 2020 approaches, it marks a return to the Challenge Tour for Isle of Man pro golfer, Tom Gandy, as he aims to finish the season in style in the hope of earning himself a place at the end of season Challenge Tour Grand Final in Majorca later in the month. After a brief return to the Isle of Man at the end of October, spent exclusively in quarantine, Tom set off for southern Spain and the city of Cadiz for last week’s Andalucia Challenge de Espana, looking to continue the run of form that has seen him hold his own at a number of full European Tour events over the summer and autumn. Playing in some challenging conditions, and on a difficult golf course, rounds of 75-72-74-69 saw Tom finish the week on a total of 2 Over Par, leaving him in a tie for 45th place. It is a measure of how far the Manxman has progressed over the past 12 months that this was below his expectations, although there were plenty of positives to take from the week, including a final round which included four birdies and an eagle. Indeed, the Isle of Man star is convinced his best is yet to come. 

I played much better in the last round but still didn’t have great day with the putter.

Having taken full advantage of the chance to play a number of European Tour events during the year, Tom now finds himself at a slight disadvantage to many of his peers on the Challenge Tour as the end of season event approaches. It was a conscious choice to play full European Tour events where possible after an early announcement that opportunities to graduate from the Challenge Tour in 2020 would be limited. Playing at this higher level was great experience, playing alongside some household names and getting comfortable competing for bigger purses. However, this has restricted his opportunities to earn ranking points towards the Grand Final; the end of season shootout for the Top 45 ranked players on the Tour. As a consequence, his participation in that event is dependent on a big finish this week at the Andalucia Challenge De Cadiz, being held at the same course as last week’s event. This double-header affords the players a degree of stability for the 2 week period, as well as the opportunity to start the event 24 hours early with the tournament days being Wednesday to Saturday, rather than ending with the traditional Sunday finale. Realistically, Tom will need a Top 3 finish if he is to make the starting line-up for the Majorca event. That said, he enjoyed a rich vein of form at this stage last season, including his career-changing performance at Q School, and a few repeats of Sunday’s 3 under par 69 should be sufficient to get the job done. With this in mind, the man from Rowany can head to the first tee in confident mood and thinking that his Challenger Tour season may not be coming to an end just yet. 

You can follow Tom’s progress in The Andalucía Challenge de Cadiz on the European Tour App or website (

Gandy gets back to work

Graeme GaultTomsBlog

*© Photograph copyright Bespoke Autos

After a successful month on the European Tour in August and September, followed by a well-earned break back on the Island, Isle of Man golf star, Tom Gandy, was back in European Tour action last week at The Scottish Championship. Hosted by the Fairmont resort and course at St Andrews, the weather may have been a far cry from the sunshine he enjoyed at his last two events in Spain and Portugal, but the Manxman was in no mood to lose the momentum he had built up on the continent and played his way to another fine finish at the home of golf. 

A fast start on Day One ensured that the Manx flag made an appearance on the leaderboard and, despite the cold and sometimes wintery conditions, Gandy managed an impressive haul of 17 birdies over the 4 days. Rounds of 70-73-73-68 saw the 2020 Isle of Man Sports Ambassador of the Year end the week on a 4 under par total; enough to secure a Tied 51st finish.  What is more, the former Isle of Man Champion seems to be growing in confidence with every event he plays, as he starts to look more and more comfortable competing with some of the world’s top players. 

It was great to be back out there after four weeks off due to the self-isolation rules on the Island – and nice to get four more rounds under my belt, ending positively with my lowest round of the week.

Despite the restrictions to the schedule caused by the Covid pandemic, the European Tour have done an outstanding job, managing to resurrect much of the season. Gandy is taking full advantage, and last week’s event in Scotland was his seventh outing on the full European Tour. With his entry now confirmed for this week’s Italian Open, there is a strong possibility that the man from Rowany will get into double figures before the end of the season – an impressive total, considering that he expected to be playing most of his golf in 2020 on the Challenge Tour – one tier below this top level.

One unintended consequence of this is that his very distinctive car is logging considerably fewer miles this year; it is spending a little less time on the road and a little more time parked at or near to Manchester Airport. In just 12 months, Gandy has moved from competing on the EuroPro Tour with events almost exclusively in the UK, to a schedule that has already taken him all around Europe and South Africa. This international focus continues over the next 8 weeks, with a host of event options on Tom’s radar after Italy. These potentially include tournaments in Cyprus, Spain, the Middle East, and South Africa, all before the end of the year.

Gandy will again be aiming to carry the Manx flag up the leaderboard this week, as he continues to ply his trade against some of the top names in golf at the Chervo Golf Club, San Vigilio di Pozzolengo, in Brescia in The Italian Open. His opponents include major winner Martin Kaymer, former world number one Lee Westwood, and Ryder cup stars Jamie Donaldson, Eduardo Molinari, and Thorbjorn Olesen among another quality field.

You can follow his progress in The Italian Open on the European Tour App or website ( He tees off at 9.12am (local time) tomorrow and is playing with Aaron Cockerill and Matthieu Pavon.

Best ever finish for Manx golf star

Graeme GaultTomsBlog

Isle of Man Golfer, Tom Gandy, took another huge step forward last week with a career-best finish on the European Tour, carding a four round total of 4 under par to put him in a Tie for 36th place at the Portugal Masters. The Island’s Sporting Ambassador of the Year for 2020 had a fine start to the tournament and had the Manx flag flying high in the top ten on the Leaderboard early on Day 2, and opening rounds of 69 and 68 left him hovering around the Top 20 at the halfway stage. Although he fell back slightly over the weekend, his final rounds of 72, 71 ensured his first Top 40 finish on the Tour and the biggest payday so far in his career.

I was just trying to take it one shot at a time, but it was good fun”

The event came at the end of a long stint away from home for the man from Rowany, with the combination of late-notice starting berths in some events, and the Island’s current Covid-19 restrictions, conspiring to mean that his only time back on the Isle of Man within the past two months has been spent in quarantine. However, it has been worth the sacrifice as the period has seen him compete in 5 full European Tour events, and play his way into the last two days in two of the last three, moving himself up to 239th place in the Race to Dubai in the process. Although qualifying for that end of season finale in 2020 looks a challenge, he is clearly starting to look more and more comfortable competing at the top level – it would be no surprise to see him challenging for a place in that prestigious event in 2021.

For now, however, Tom is taking a well-earned break and plans to spend a few weeks back at home, catching up with friends and family and just enjoying being back on the Island. With the current quarantine rules meaning that he is unlikely to line up in the Irish Open later in the month, his next European Tour outing is likely to be in October, with events in Scotland and Italy, as well as back-to-back tournaments in Cyprus, firmly on his radar.

It feels like it has been a lot of golf recently. I’m definitely looking forward to some down time and some productive practice.

Isle of Man Golfer flies the flag in Portugal

Graeme GaultTomsBlog

Another international challenge beckons this week for Isle of Man golfer, Tom Gandy, as he continues his quest for golfing glory with his fourth European Tour start in quick succession at the Portugal Masters. This is another great opportunity for the Manxman, as he seeks to establish himself at the very highest level in the sport, with household names such as Tommy Fleetwood and Jose Maria Olazabal teeing up alongside him on Portugal’s Algarve coast at this week’s event.

Following a promising four days at the UK Championships at the Belfry at the end of last month, Tom was one of a number of players who found the challenge of Valderrama in the wind and baking sun a tricky proposition last week. The course, made famous by Seve Ballesteros and the European Ryder Cup team in 1997, proved the real winner as not a single player managed to post an under par four round total. However, the man from Rowany remains hugely positive about his game and upbeat about his prospects over the next few days. 

I am very happy to get the chance to compete again. Despite last week’s scoring, my game feels fairly decent – I know that I need to score a little better but this usually comes through getting more rounds under the belt, so it’s great to get the opportunity to do that again straight away.”

The Isle of Man golfing community is a tightly knit group, and Tom is also keen to pass a message of support back from Portugal for Fergus Murdoch, a former member of the Isle of Man Golf Union while Tom was growing up.

I’m sorry to hear that Fergus Murdoch fell ill while golfing a few days ago. He’s very much in my thoughts. He’s in my thoughts and I wish him a full and speedy recovery.”

Tom tees off at 10.35am on Thursday and 6.45am on Friday (both UK time) and you can follow his progress on the European Tour App and Website, and via the TV coverage on Sky Sports Golf.

Tour Milestone for Isle of Man Golfer


*© Photograph courtesy of David Silvester Photography

It has been another busy week for golfer and Isle of Man Sports Ambassador of the Year, Tom Gandy, as his secured another milestone on his professional CV by making his first halfway cut on the full European Tour at The ISPS HANDA UK Championships. The playing category he achieved at last year’s Qualifying School in Spain earned him a starting berth on the Tour’s ‘UK Swing’ for a second week in succession, seeing the Manxman tee up alongside some of the most famous names in the sport, including major winners Danny Willett and Martin Kaymer, and Ryder Cup legends Lee Westwood and Thomas Bjorn.

Getting his round underway in the afternoon on Day 1, Tom coped well with the poor playing conditions which were the result of Storm Francis, which was lashing wind and rain across most of the country. After a few weather-related interruptions, he was hovering around the predicted halfway cut mark after 10 holes when play was finally suspended for the day as the delays to play caused by flooding in some of the greens meant that those who had teed off later in the day simply ran out of daylight. Although relieved to get back into the Clubhouse and dry off, this meant an earlier than expected start to Day 2, and an additional 8 holes for the Manxman to complete on the Friday, knowing that he would likely have to improve on his current 1 over par figure to make it into the weekend. 

The knock-on from Day 1 was a 7am start for around a third of the field on Day 2, with Tom heading out to the 11th tee to get his challenge underway once again. Keeping a cool head in the still soggy early conditions, he safely negotiated the rest of the round in level par to card an opening round of 73 and leave him well-placed to push on in the second round. Push on he most certainly did, as he followed two birdies on the opening nine holes with a further 3 on the second nine, to post his best score to date of his European Tour career – a 4 under par 68 – and comfortably qualify for the last two days of the event, sitting just outside the Top 20 and only a handful of shots behind the halfway lead. Although he wasn’t quite able to repeat the highs of Round 2 over the weekend, there was still no shortage of birdies for Tom’s followers to cheer and his eventual total of 2 over par for the tournament saw him finish in a Tie for 51st place, his highest finish to date in the European Tour and his first pay day at that level. Crucially, he also had the benefit of playing with Tour event winners on each of the four days, an experience which will surely help to prepare him for winning opportunities that undoubtedly lie ahead.

It was nice to make the weekend for the first time in one of my first starts at the top level and, whilst the weekend didn’t go as well as I would have hoped, it was another step in the right direction and a good opportunity to further gain confidence playing at that level.

There was little time to rest on his laurels, however. With the ‘UK Swing’ now complete, the European Tour now moves on to Spain and Portugal for the next few weeks and, just as Tom was packing his car and checking the SteamPacket sailing schedules to return home to the Island, he received an email from the Tour’s Player Relations team confirming his place in this week’s event, The Estrella Damm Andalucia Masters, to be held at famous Valderrama course in Spain. Like The Belfry, Valderrama is an iconic venue within the sport and is synonymous with the Ryder Cup, being the first course in continental Europe to host the event in 1997 when golfing legend Seve Ballesteros famously captained the European team to victory over the US. With a Prize Fund of €1.25M on offer, this presents Tom with another outstanding opportunity to put the Manx flag firmly on display on the Leaderboard and establish himself as a genuine competitor at this level.

“I look forward to every chance I get. It is hard to say when the starts will come along with all the uncertainty over events and all of the complications around travel and COVID, However, my job is to be as ready as I can for when that opportunity arises.”

Tom tees off at 2.10pm on Thursday and 10.10am on Friday (both UK time) and you can follow his progress on the European Tour App and Website, and via the TV coverage on Sky Sports Golf.

Tom tees up at the Belfry

Graeme GaultTomsBlog

*© Photograph courtesy of David Silvester Photography

Isle of Man Pro Tom Gandy continues his season at one of the UK’s most iconic golfing venues this week as he tees up for ISPS HANDA UK Championship at The Belfry on Thursday. The event is the final tournament in the hastily arranged ‘UK Swing’ that was the European Tour’s response to the calendar changes imposed on top-level, competitive golf by the Covid-19 crisis. This will be Tom’s third event of the Swing and only his fourth start at this level and there has been plenty of promise to take from the past month. Highlights include firing two sub-par rounds at the English Championships in Hertfordshire and an early sighting of Tom’s name and the Manx flag on the Top 10 leaderboard at last week’s Wales Open at Celtic Manor.

With every event providing the opportunity to get used to the higher standard of play and become more and more comfortable playing against some of the top names in the sport, Tom is maintaining his positive outlook and relishing the challenge.

Despite a good start, last week was obviously not the result I wanted. I’m looking forward to having the chance to put it right this week.

Lee Westwood, and major winners Danny Willet and Martin Kaymer are just three of the players that Tom could find himself playing alongside this week. The competition will be fierce but the combination of a course that should suit his game, and the experience he is building with every round at full European Tour level, means that Tom goes into the week in a confident mood. You can follow Tom’s progress via the European Tour App from Thursday.

From Isle of Man to Celtic Manor

Graeme GaultTomsBlog

Manx golf star Tom Gandy tees up for only his third full European Tour start at the ISPS HANDA Wales Open at Celtic Manor this week, following a mad dash from the Island on Monday. Although a full member of the Challenge Tour, Tom’s playing status means that he is a regular reserve for the full Tour events so his entry for this week was only confirmed early on Monday morning, leaving him only a few hours to pack and get himself to the Ferry Terminal for Monday’s sailing. Fortunately, having SteamPacket as one of his long-term supporters ensured that he could book at short notice and get himself to the Welsh venue in time to take the compulsory Covid test before entering the Tour ‘bubble’ for the week.

Like so many aspects of day-to-day life, the Covid 19 virus has had a significant effect on professional golf, delaying and cancelling tournaments across the globe, as well as seeing the recent events that have been permitted to go ahead taking place without spectators or crowds. For Tom and his fellow pros, this means regular testing and strict regulations in terms of outside contact at the events themselves, in addition to adhering to the Island’s quarantine regulations each time he returns home.

It’s great to be back playing with a purpose and trying to put the hours I put in to my development during lockdown, to work. It’s a strange environment, particularly coming from the island where there’s no social distancing etc, to a place of face masks, social distancing, and that we’re not allowed to leave the hotel and golf course ‘bubble’ – but despite all of this, it’s golf as I know it and I’m really happy to be back. I’m expecting to maybe have some elements of rust in my performance but despite this, I’m thrilled to be back around elite competition and to be teeing it up amongst some of the world’s best players. It’s certainly motivating and I’m looking forward to the challenge!

This will be Tom’s second start in recent weeks and he will take some encouragement from his performance at the English Championships at Ware in Hertfordshire two weeks ago. Although he missed the cut and the opportunity to play the last two days of the event, both of his rounds were under par and he made plenty of birdies – a sure sign that he can be competitive at this level.

Tom will tee off at 11.12am on Thursday and 7.00am on Friday and you can follow him on the European Tour app or website. With the weather looking it may resemble what Tom describes as “…a normal Manx summer…” hopefully this is a real opportunity for a great week – and the chance to see that Isle of Man flag in the top half of that leaderboard.

Friends Provident Sponsorship


Friends Provident International (FPI) is delighted to announce sponsorship of Isle of Man professional golfer, Tom Gandy. FPI will become the Rowany Golf Club based player’s first new major sponsor of the season, as he takes his quest to break into the very top echelons of the game to a wider international audience in 2020.

Steve Weston, FPI’s Interim CEO said: “As a major employer in the Isle of Man with particularly strong connections to the south of the Island, our sponsorship of Tom is a great fit. We will now all be following his progress with extra interest and seeing the FPI logo at tournaments around the world.”

Following two seasons on the UK-based EuroPro Tour, Tom’s blistering finish to 2019 saw him rack up a series of Top 10 finishes and reach the final stage of European Tour Qualifying School in Spain in November. Competing against a hungry field of over 150 players, Tom’s finish of Tied 29th earned him full Challenge Tour playing privileges for the coming year, only one tier below the full European Tour and competing regularly against the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Lee Westwood. However, Tom’s performance in Spain is likely to see him receive a number of invitations to full European Tour events during the season. Across both Tours, Tom’s events this year will have a distinctly more international feel as he can expect to play on at least 3 continents, carrying the Manx flag to around a dozen countries.

Friends Provident International has been established on the Island for over 40 years, and employs 200 people at its Head Office in Royal Court in Castletown, which has been their base for 25 years. Most of the staff there are no strangers to Tom as he has worked in their offices for the past two winters, regularly spending his lunch hour on the range at nearby Castletown Golf Club as in preparation for his summers of travel to the UK mainland to compete in the EuroPro events.

FPI’s two-year sponsorship agreement will provide Tom with some welcome stability in his financial planning, as the costs of competing increase as he steps up a level for 2020. In addition to wearing the FPI logo on his shirts, Tom will act as an ambassador for FPI, including hosting a Friends Provident International Golf Day later in the year.

Steve Weston added: “We know Tom well from his time with us over the past few years and are delighted to be able to continue our association through this sponsorship agreement.”

See for further information on Friends Provident International.

Friends Provident International is a trading name of Friends Provident International Limited.
Friends Provident International Limited is part of the Aviva Group.