Kiwi golfer Josh Geary is furious after missing out on retaining his European Tour card - and a shot at big money - in controversial circumstances in Spain overnight.

Needing to finish the six-round tournament at the Lumine Golf Club in Tarragona inside the top 25, the 34-year-old missed out by one shot, carding a two-under 69 to finish on 15-under par in a tie for 28th.

This means Geary misses out on playing for large winners' cheques on the European Tour next season, instead featuring in the second-tier Challenge Tour.

A bogey on the par five 18th hole proved costly and Geary, who played at the 2009 Open Championship and has five career victories, told the Herald he was fuming after the leaderboard at the final tee didn't show what score the 25th-ranked golfer was on.

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Thinking he needed an eagle or perhaps a birdie to retain his card, Geary attacked the green with his second shot on the par five 18th, and ended up with a bogey.

He would have played the hole differently if he had known the scores.

"I played great up until the last hole," Geary said.

"I didn't know where I was sitting, to be honest, the scoreboard only had the top eight scores so I thought I needed an eagle or a birdie to finish off because that would have been 18-under.

"I went for the green in two on the par five which was a risky shot but a shot I needed to play I thought and walked off with bogey and then found out that par would have been good enough."

It's a shattering result for Geary, who earned $170,000 playing on the European Tour this year, making eight cuts in 22 events.

Geary can't believe the leaderboard didn't show him what he needed to do on the last hole.

"Just the way it unfolded is even more gut-wrenching to be honest because obviously a simple layup and a pitch on would have been fine. But I had no idea of the scores and what it was going to take. So I ended up going for something I didn't need to go for and that's even worse than missing out on something normally," Geary said.

"There should for sure be the score of the 25th guy because the top 10 scores are irrelevant basically; everyone knows how important the 25th card is. They had the cut line on the board at the end of the fourth round, but today they had no numbers.

Josh Geary failed to finish in the top 25 at the European Tour Qualifying School Final Stage in Spain. Photo / Getty
Josh Geary failed to finish in the top 25 at the European Tour Qualifying School Final Stage in Spain. Photo / Getty

"I was guessing because the weather was pretty good, so thinking like the cut might be 18-under or maybe 17, because of the pressure and thinking I needed a three or maybe a four, but it turns out I needed a five and that's what it would have taken.

"It's really frustrating because you can't use your cell phone to look at the scoreboard so there's no way of knowing where you are standing and you are kind of just guessing and in that situation in the last hole it was a big do or die sort of moment and has proved costly and gut-wrenching."

It's back to the Challenge Tour for 2019 for Geary, but he remains optimistic he can bounce back quickly and get back on the European Tour.

"I guess I have finished high in the category of just missing out so I will probably get eight to 10 starts next year on the European Tour and maybe with a couple more invites potentially to top that up slightly," he said.

"Early on in the year I will probably play the Challenge Tour and get the European Tour starts towards the mid to late season so it might work okay in terms of keeping a full schedule. There are positives because I feel like I am playing great golf and as long as I have a few opportunities I feel like soon it could be breakthrough time."