Brian Casey hailed his girlfriend for her course knowledge as he took a one-stroke lead into the final round of the Alps Tour Q-School in Spain.
The Headfort star, 22, fired a two under 70 on the Asia Course at La Cala to lead by a shot on nine under par in the race for 35 full cards on the satellite circuit next season. Leaderboard
Joined for the last round by Alan Dunbar and Simon Ward, Casey told the Alps Tour website: “Tough day, the greens are small and they are quite firm.
“I dropped one shot on the eighth, missed the green again with a wedge, same mistakes as yesterday but I managed to stay focussed.
“I eat a lot on course, that’s the key, it’s my secret weapon but ssshhhh, don’t tell!”
Casey had five birdies and three bogeys on his card but confessed that the course knowledge of his girlfriend Jess Wilcox, who used to live at La Cala, has been a big help.
“He is American and he is such a great support! It helps to feel confident,” he said.
Casey leads by one from England’s Curtis Griffiths with Rathmore star Dunbar tied for 12th on four under after a level par 72 on the Asia track.
“One more round tomorrow to conclude 2013!” Dunbar told his Facebook followers. “Some good golf this year but capable of much better! Lots to improve!”
County Louth man Ward also made the 36-hole cut, which fell at three over par, posting a one over 73 on the America Course to share 28th place on one under.
Andrew Hogan, Thomas O’Driscoll and Royal Portrush’s Matt McAlpin all missed the cut and will only get limited starts on the Alps Tour circuit next year.
McAlpin missed out by a shot on four over after a level par 72 on the America Course.
One over for the day through eight holes, he racked up a double bogey seven at the ninth and while he hit back with three birdies in a row from the 11th, he could not find another birdie coming home.
What he would have given for the eagle three O’Driscoll made at the 18th for a fourth successive 75 - two rounds in qualifying and two in the final stage - as he finished tied 101st on six over despite suffering from a chest virus.
Newlands’ Hogan closed with a 77 on the America Course to finish 108th seven over.
At the Ladies European Tour Qualifying School in Morocco, Carlow’s Tara Delaney closed with her best round of the week, a level par 72, but comfortably missed the 72-hole cut for Wednesday’s fifth and final round. Scores