Ruaidhri McGee tees off on his final hole, the ninth at PGA Catalunya Resort’s Tour Course. Rosapenna’s Ruaidhri McGee took a giant step on the long road towards winning his European Tour card when he fired a super second round 66 at the European Tour Qualifying Final Stage at PGA Catalunya Resort.

The 22-year old fired seven birdies in a four under par effort at Girona venue’s Tour Course to move up to joint eighth on six under par. Leaderboard

Ruaidhri McGee putts out at at the ninth. With the top 25 and ties earning cards after six rounds, McGee is handily placed to clear the first hurdle, which is the 72-hole cut for the Top-70 and ties.

“I got off to a bit of a strange start, with a few bogeys and a few birdies,” said the 22 year old, who was playing alongside European Tour winner James Morrison. “But I had three birdies in a row at the turn and then played level on the way in so I’m really happy with that round.

“I holed a lovely putt at the 15th from off the green, about 40 or 50 feet so I was delighted with that. I had a couple more long ones too so I had the putter working today.

“It was interesting to play with James and see what the top players play like so that was definitely a boost for me today, and I think seeing that I’m up there makes me feel like I’m up to it at this level, so it’s good for the confidence.”

“I haven’t been doing much wrong this week and I haven’t had any big misses so I think that’s been the biggest factor so far. I’m looking forward to the next few rounds and hopefully making a few more birdies.”

If he makes the cut, as now looks likely, he will be guaranteed a strong card on the Challenge Tour next season. But he will have his sights set on the big prize as trails overall leader, American John Hahn, by just four strokes.

Waterford Castle’s Kevin Phelan shot a three under 67 at the easier of the two course to move up to joint 55th on one under par alongside Waterville’s David Higgins, who slipped to a one-over par 73 on the tougher Stadium Course.

Ballymena amateur Dermot McElroy was also in action on the Stadium but he had a tough day on the greens and a two over 74 left him tied for 81st on level par - just one stroke outside the Top-70.

“I played quite well today just not going to shoot a good score using the putter 35 times,” McElroy said. “Luckily there are two more rounds to fix that.”

McElroy opened with a bogey at the 10th, birdied the par-five 12th and water-protected 13th before a triple bogey seven at the tough, par-four 14th, stopped his progress.

He covered his last 13 holes in level par but cannot afford to shoot over par in the next two rounds if he wants to keep his hopes alive.

NB – Collated Scores after players alternated between two separate courses, the par-70 Tour Course and par-72 Stadium Course.

132 J Hahn (USA) 66 66;

134 J Dantorp (Swe) 66 68;

135 A Forsyth (Sco) 65 70; J Fahrbring (Swe) 71 64; L Bjerregaard (Den) 65 70; R Finch (Eng) 64 71; B Stone (RSA) 69 66;

136 A Gee (Eng) 66 70; D Brooks (Eng) 65 71; R McGee (Irl) 70 66; O Wilson (Eng) 69 67; M Jonzon (Swe) 64 72; E Goya (Arg) 66 70; F Zanotti (Par) 66 70; E Espana (Fra) 62 74; W Ormsby (Aus) 69 67;

137 D Kemmer (USA) 67 70; T Whitehouse (Eng) 68 69; K Pratt (Aus) 71 66; M Lundberg (Swe) 69 68; O Stark (Swe) 66 71; G Wright (Wal) 72 65; T Pieters (Bel) 64 73; C Paisley (Eng) 67 70; S Wakefield (Eng) 69 68; G Lockerbie (Eng) 72 65; A Saddier (Fra) 71 66; A Hartø (Den) 67 70; F Andersson Hed (Swe) 69 68; M Tullo (Chi) 67 70;

138 H Leon (Chi) 68 70; P Sjöland (Swe) 66 72; E Kofstad (Nor) 70 68; J Doherty (Sco) 68 70; J Elson (Eng) 64 74; W Harrold (Eng) 65 73; C Del Moral (Esp) 67 71; J Barnes (Eng) 66 72; C Shinkwin (am) (Eng) 68 70;

139 S Manley (Wal) 68 71; A McArthur (Sco) 66 73; J Knutzon (USA) 70 69; O Floren (Swe) 72 67; G Stal (Fra) 71 68; D McGuigan (Sco) 71 68; J Watts (Eng) 68 71; M Lafeber (Ned) 71 68; A Domingo (Esp) 66 73; J Lagergren (Swe) 65 74; B Dredge (Wal) 68 71; R Pettersson (Swe) 70 69; T Lee (USA) 64 75; A Björk (Swe) 74 65; J Morrison (Eng) 72 67;

140 D Higgins (Irl) 67 73; K Horne (RSA) 72 68; K Phelan (Irl) 73 67; J Huldahl (Den) 72 68; M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 67 73; S Hodgson (Eng) 71 69; L Gagli (Ita) 74 66; J Heath (Eng) 69 71; E Dubois (Fra) 75 65; M Korhonen (Fin) 69 71; A Johnston (Eng) 67 73;

141 B Henson (USA) 71 70; A Marshall (Eng) 71 70; M Delpodio (Ita) 70 71; P Price (Wal) 74 67; J Lando Casanova (Fra) 76 65; T Van Der Walt (RSA) 72 69; C Ortiz (Mex) 73 68; B Paolini (USA) 70 71; D Dixon (Eng) 73 68; N Lemke (Swe) 66 75; J Guerrier (Fra) 73 68; M Crespi (Ita) 71 70; D Gavins (Eng) 69 72; J Lucquin (Fra) 68 73; O Fisher (Eng) 72 69; W Besseling (Ned) 68 73;

142 J Edfors (Swe) 69 73; N Quintarelli (Ita) 68 74; M Orrin (Eng) 71 71; P Archer (Eng) 72 70; F Fritsch (Ger) 72 70; P Martin Benavides (Esp) 73 69; A McLardy (RSA) 77 65; A Haig (RSA) 68 74; J Robinson (Eng) 71 71; P Edberg (Swe) 73 69; S Henry (Sco) 72 70; A Dodt (Aus) 71 71; C Arendell (USA) 72 70; A Garcia-Heredia (Esp) 72 70; M Grönberg (Swe) 75 67; T Nørret (Den) 71 71; D McElroy (am) (Nir) 68 74;

143 C Bouniol (Fra) 73 70; M Zions (Aus) 72 71; G Cambis (Fra) 71 72; V Phillips (Eng) 72 71; C Hanson (Eng) 66 77; D Im (USA) 70 73; R Karlberg (Swe) 66 77; P Hedblom (Swe) 69 74; T Sluiter (Ned) 68 75; L Bond (Wal) 69 74;

144 R Russell (Sco) 76 68; B An (Kor) 71 73; M Wiegele (Aut) 71 73; O Lieser (Cze) 74 70; G Murray (Sco) 67 77;

145 C Suneson (Esp) 72 73; N Fenwick (Sco) 72 73; J Timmis (Eng) 67 78; Z Scotland (Eng) 71 74; A Maestroni (Ita) 73 72; J Ahlers (RSA) 73 72; K Benz (Sui) 69 76; G Main (USA) 73 72; D Stewart (Sco) 68 77; C Monasterio (Arg) 67 78; M Brier (Aut) 74 71; Y Tsukada (Jpn) 75 70;

146 S Drummond (Sco) 75 71; B Åkesson (Swe) 75 71; D Ulrich (Sui) 77 69; N Nissen (Den) 73 73; J Rask (Swe) 77 69; B Ritthammer (Ger) 76 70; S Arnold (Aus) 75 71; M Hensby (Aus) 69 77; T Linard (Fra) 69 77; J Lara (Esp) 74 72; C Dammert (am) (Ger) 70 76;

147 I Garrido (Esp) 72 75; O Henningsson (Swe) 77 70; R Davies (Wal) 71 76; D Vancsik (Arg) 69 78; N Dougherty (Eng) 73 74;

148 R Steiner (Aut) 74 74; A Bernadet (Fra) 74 74; J Fly (USA) 72 76; R McGowan (Eng) 77 71; B Evans (Eng) 71 77;

149 E Cole (USA) 71 78; L Goddard (Eng) 75 74; J Granberg (Fin) 73 76; O Bekker (RSA) 73 76; K Ferrie (Eng) 71 78;

150 N Ravano (Ita) 69 81; J Sjöholm (Swe) 77 73;

152 A Kaleka (Fra) 79 73;

160 J Bäckström (Swe) 76 84;

190 D Popovic (Aus) 73 RT;