McGeady makes Q-School finals as Kearney misses out
Mick McGeady is through to the Final Stage of the European Tour Qualifying School. Picture: Thos Caffrey /

Mick McGeady is through to the Final Stage of the European Tour Qualifying School. Picture: Thos Caffrey /

Derry's Michael McGeady overcame a shaky start to earn his place at this week's European Tour Qualifying School Final Stage in Catalonia.

But there was disappointment for the other seven Irishmen in action at four Spanish venues with Niall Kearney missing out by two shots after a final round 72.

McGeady, last year's Irish Professional champion, bogeyed his first two holes at El Saler in Valencia to slip outside the top 17 who would eventually progress from that venue to the Final Stage, which begins at PGA Catalunya Resort in Girona on Saturday.

Tied 16th overnight, the 36-year old former Challenge Tour winner hit back with a birdie four at the third and while he bogeyed the par-five fifth, he birdied the seventh, eighth, 11th and 15th to card a two under 70 and make the 17 qualifiers with a shot to spare in joint 12th on three under.

"I'm happy with my game," McGeady said afterwards. "I was under alot of pressure today after a poor start. But I had been playing well all week and didn't get my fair share on the greens."

If McGeady was delighted, Kearney was one of four Irishmen to leave Lumine Golf and Beach Club a disappointed man after a low scoring day at the Tarragona venue.

Tied for sixth going into the final round after a super 66 on Sunday, the 26-year old from Royal Dublin looked likely to qualify when he birdied the fourth and fifth to get to 10 under par.

But he eventually missed the nine under par qualifying mark by two shots, three-putting the sixth from close range before dropping further shots at the 12th and 15th.

David Higgins (T41), Mark Murphy (T62) and Brendan McCarroll (T68) also failed to qualify at there while at Las Colinas in Alicante, an under-the-weather Niall Turner missed out by five shots on two under after a closing 70

Ruaidhri McGee (T31) and Gareth Shaw (T60) failed to qualify at Panoramica in Castellon and it is clear that the Second Stage is now tougher than ever to overcome.

As the European Tour reported:

England's Chris Paisley won at Las Colinas on 17 under thanks to a closing 66 as 18 players progressed.

Those 18 spaces where hotly contested and a four man playoff ensued for the remaining three spots when Englishman Matthew Cort, Dane Christian Gloet, Australian Geoffrey Drakeford and German Sebastian Heisele all finished in tied 16th position on seven under par.

Heisele and Gloet progressed in 16th and 17th place respectively, birdieing the second and third playoff holes, while it was Cort who missed out as Drakeford birdied the fourth playoff hole capturing the last qualifying spot in the process.

At Panoramica Golf & Sport Resort, Englishman Matthew Southgate leapfrogged his compatriot Toby Tree with a five under par 65 to steal first place on 22 under par.
However, again the real drama unfolded lower down the leaderboard on 13 under par as a sudden death six man playoff ensued for the remaining spaces.

After a tense battle, it was South African amateur Zander Lombard who took the 15th spot and Dane Jeff Winther the 16th. Gary Lockerbie then proceeded to hold his nerve to take the 17th place with a par three on the fifth playoff hole.
Elsewhere, Welshman Garry Houston stole the show at Campo de Golf El Saler, firing home in a seven under 65 to win the event.
But as with the other events, the real action came at the cut off for progression; Dane Daniel Løkke and Englishman Chris Lloyd hung on to take two of the last three qualifying places, where they were joined by Norwegian Espen Kofstad, who leapt up four positions to snatch qualification on two under par.
Portugal's Ricardo Gouveia completed his qualifying campaign with a rock steady level par 71 at Lumine Golf & Beach Club to stay at 18 under and advance on pole.
A quartet of four players, consisting of France’s Guillaume Cambis, Englishmen Garrick Porteous and Nathan Kimsey and American Wes Homan, all shared the last progression spaces at nine under par.

Italian star Renato Paratore was among the five amateurs among the 69 players who qualified for the Final Stage at PGA Catalunya Resort, where the top 25 players plus ties will earn their playing rights for The 2015 Race to Dubai.

Ireland will have five players at the Final Stage with McGeady joining Peter Lawrie, Simon Thornton, Kevin Phelan and Gareth Maybin in Girona. 



18 qualified on 7 under or better

  • T38 Niall Turner 73 67 72 70 -2 FAILED TO QUALIFY


17 qualified on 2 under or better

  • T12 Michael McGeady 73 70 72 70 -3 QUALIFIED


17 qualified on 9 under or better

  • T21 Niall Kearney 70 69 66 72 -7  FAILED TO QUALIFY
  • T41 David Higgins 73 69 70 70 -2 FAILED TO QUALIFY
  • T62 Mark Murphy 73 70 72 75 +6 FAILED TO QUALIFY
  • T68 Brendan McCarroll 77 70 72 76 +11 FAILED TO QUALIFY


17 qualified on 13 under or better

  • T31 Ruaidhri McGee 72 69 70 68 -9
  • T60 Gareth Shaw 77 66 70 70 -3