Thornton and Lawrie in position at Q-School
Simon Thornton. Picture at Crans earlier this season. Eoin Clarke /

Simon Thornton. Picture at Crans earlier this season. Eoin Clarke /

Simon Thornton and Peter Lawrie moved inside the all important Top 25 after two rounds of the European Tour Qualifying School Final Stage at PGA Catalunya Resort.

Thornton, the former Royal County Down assistant professional, had four birdies in a three under par 69 on the Stadium Course and shares 10th spot with the likes of Italian starlet Renator Paratore on five under par.

India's world No 74 Anirban Lahiri showed his class by shooting a 68 on the Stadium to lead by two strokes from Sweden's Pelle Edberg and Rikard Karlberg on nine under.

Lawrie, a former Rookie of the Year and Spanish Open winner, had six birdies and a double bogey in a three under 67 on the less demanding Tour Course.

The Dubliner is tied for 17th in what is a six-round marathon with the first objective the cut for the top 70 and ties after Tuesday's fourth round.

Waterford Castle's Kevin Phelan fell 30 places to tied 47th on one-under when he added a two over 72 on the Tour Course to his 69 on the Stadium.

But he's just two shots outside the Top 25 who will earn cards for the 2015 Race to Dubai.

Ballyclare's Gareth Maybin and Derry's Michael McGeady have work to do over the next two days to make the four-round cut.

Maybin had five birdies, two bogeys and two double bogeys in a one over 71 on the Tour Course and shares 102nd spot, three strokes outside the Top 70 on three over.

McGeady, the 2013 Irish PGA champion and a former Challenge Tour winner, is tied for 115th on four over after a three over 75 on the Stadium Course. 

Leader Lahiri, whose nickname ‘Baan’ is written on the back of his cap, is the highest-ranked player in the field at PGA Catalunya Resort, having won twice on the Asian Tour and recorded two top ten finishes on the European Tour this year.

The Bangalore player put serious weight behind that statistic as he recorded just a single bogey in his opening 36 holes at the stunning European Tour Destination near Girona, a five at the par four 17th in round two which was preceded by a superb eagle at the par five 15th, where a beastly drive left him with an eight iron approach.

Anirban Lahiri of India. Picture © Getty Images

Anirban Lahiri of India. Picture © Getty Images

Lahiri duly knocked that to ten feet, before holing what was one of his longest putts of an impressive ball-striking day to move to the summit and edge closer to European Tour Membership for the first time in his career.

“I played really well today,” said the five-time Asian Tour winner. “I really enjoy playing tracks like the Stadium Course here, it demands a lot of shots from you and I really enjoy that challenge.

“It’s not easy. You’ve got to really hit a lot of good shots so I’m really happy with the way I played today. There were a couple of loose holes at the end there but I’m really happy with the way I’m hitting the ball.

“I could have putted a lot better today so hopefully that gets better throughout the week. I’ve played a lot in Europe, some tournaments in America, some in Japan and around Europe too so these are not alien conditions to me anymore.

“They were when I played here three years ago. It’s ten degrees warmer now than the last time I played in December so that helps! I’m quite comfortable now.

“I’ve just been playing well. This whole year has been solid and I’m just trying to do the same things I’ve been doing and keep that form going. The rest of it should take care of itself.

“Even on the 12th I hit it to around five feet for eagle and it didn’t even touch the hole with my putt, so I’ve been hitting it really solid and hopefully I can keep that going.”

Edberg, meanwhile, carded the round of the week thus far as the experienced Swede fired a spectacular eight under par 62 on the Tour Course to climb 75 places into a share of second.

The 35 year old, on his eighth visit to Final Stage, teed off on the tenth hole before a superlative six under front nine helped move him to seven under par alongside compatriot Rikard Karlberg.

Edberg was delighted with his round and, while he did admit he felt the pressure coming into this week – having missed out on Challenge Tour graduation last week, finishing 44th in the Rankings – he feels he has played his cards right so far in Girona.

“Seven under through two rounds is pretty good,” he said. “There are four rounds still to go, but obviously that is a good start. I played pretty solid and holed a few putts, so it was good.

“You know you have two rounds on the Tour Course before the cut, and you really need to be a few under over this one, and then level on the Stadium over four rounds. Then, you should stand a pretty good chance.

“I will hit a few balls on the range this evening, but will also spend a few hours on the paddle courts. It is a long week and you can’t change too much in your swing, so I just feel like I need to be rested and be 100 per cent focused out on the course.

“If I said I didn’t feel any pressure coming in this week then I’d be lying. I finished top 45 on the Challenge Tour so I might get a few events (on The European Tour) next year, but a top 25 here would of course help that.

“I just need to forget today and head out on the other course tomorrow, make as many pars as possible, and maybe hole one or two birdie putts.”

Four time European Tour winner Ricardo Gonzalez of Argentina, young English prospect Matthew Fitzpatrick and former Challenge Tour Number One Andrea Pavan of Italy were among the six players tied for fourth place on six under par.

European Tour Q-School Final Stage (PGA Catalunya Resort, Stadium Course Par 72, Tour Course Par 70) 

133 A Lahiri (Ind) 65 68; 

135 P Edberg (Swe) 73 62; R Karlberg  (Swe) 67 68; 

136 M Delpodio  (Ita) 68 68; M Fitzpatrick  (Eng) 70 66; R Gonzalez (Arg) 68 68; P Oriol (Esp) 70 66; J Parry (Eng) 68 68; A Pavan (Ita) 69 67; 

137 A Dodt (Aus) 66 71; S Soderberg (Swe) 67 70; S Fallon (Eng) 72 65; M Korhonen (Fin) 72 65; Simon Thornton (Irl) 68 69; R Paratore (Ita) 67 70; S Walker (Eng) 66 71; 

138 M Ford (Eng) 74 64; C Lloyd (Eng) 72 66; A Otaegui  (Esp) 67 71; C Gloet  (Den) 64 74; R McEvoy  (Eng) 73 65; Peter Lawrie (Irl) 71 67; S Manley (Wal) 66 72; J Lagergren (Swe) 66 72; 

139 A Tadini (Ita) 72 67; E Goya (Arg) 71 68; C Paisley  (Eng) 70 69; E Kofstad (Nor) 72 67; P Maddy (Eng) 67 72; E De La Riva  (Esp) 71 68; M Both (Aus) 70 69; A Saddier (Fra) 66 73; D Im (USA) 66 73; E Cuartero Blanco (am) (Esp) 74 65; 

140 D Dixon (Eng) 68 72; S Kim (Kor) 73 67; C Bouniol (Fra) 72 68; A Marshall (Eng) 69 71; B Åkesson (Swe) 72 68; J Makitalo  (Fin) 66 74; J Guerrier  (Fra) 69 71; R Kellett (Sco) 70 70; T Murray (Eng) 76 64; N Geyger (Chi) 66 74; M Soegaard  (Den) 67 73; B Virto  (Esp) 77 63; 

141 V Riu  (Fra) 75 66; B Evans  (Eng) 73 68; K Ferrie (Eng) 66 75; N Chaudhuri  (Eng) 73 68; N Elvira (Esp) 71 70; Kevin Phelan (Irl) 69 72; J Gonnet  (Fra) 68 73; P Widegren  (Swe) 70 71; L De Jager (RSA) 73 68; H Shun Yat (Hkg) 67 74; J Scrivener (Aus) 77 64; 

142 A Ahokas (Fin) 66 76; R Gouveia (Por) 74 68; A Björk (Swe) 72 70; M Jonzon (Swe) 69 73; S Gros (Fra) 67 75; M Orrin (Eng) 69 73; D Markle (Can) 70 72; P Archer (Eng) 68 74; C Del Moral (Esp) 68 74; J Knutzon (USA) 66 76; J Winther (Den) 73 69; J Hansen  (Den) 71 71; S Henry  (Sco) 70 72; T Fisher Jnr (RSA) 67 75; B Seuk-Hyun (Kor) 67 75; 

143 D Stewart (Sco) 67 76; M Wiegele  (Aut) 74 69; P Whiteford (Sco) 77 66; G Drakeford (Aus) 71 72; J Edfors (Swe) 66 77; A Velasco (Esp) 69 74; J Walters (RSA) 73 70; A Hortal  (Esp) 72 71; S Chawrasia (Ind) 71 72; R Coles (Eng) 70 73; B Hellgren  (Swe) 75 68; P Hedblom (Swe) 74 69; L Jensen (Den) 69 74; A Knappe (Ger) 74 69; C Shinkwin (Eng) 73 70; G Lockerbie  (Eng) 76 67; J Stalter (Fra) 69 74; 

144 R Davies (Wal) 73 71; G Porteous (Eng) 80 64; R Santos  (Por) 72 72; D Woltman (USA) 72 72; S Griffiths (Eng) 76 68; B Parker  (Eng) 67 77; J Elson  (Eng) 71 73; T Tree (Eng) 71 73; S Heisele (Ger) 78 66; J Fahrbring (Swe) 74 70; S Wakefield (Eng) 72 72; N Kimsey (Eng) 70 74; 

145 D Papadatos (Aus) 78 67; L Kennedy  (Eng) 79 66; N Dougherty  (Eng) 68 77; W Booth  (Sco) 80 65; W Harrold (Eng) 71 74; Gareth Maybin (Nir) 74 71; F Andersson Hed (Swe) 76 69; B Ritthammer (Ger) 76 69; D Huizing (Ned) 76 69; L Slattery (Eng) 75 70; N Quintarelli (Ita) 79 66; H Joannes  (Bel) 75 70; W Homan  (USA) 77 68; 

146 J Glennemo (Swe) 76 70; D Coupland (Eng) 76 70; C Pigem (Esp) 77 69; H Porteous (RSA) 71 75; Michael McGeady (Irl) 71 75; J Lara (Esp) 72 74; M Rocchi  (Fra) 70 76; R McGowan  (Eng) 68 78; J Huldahl (Den) 67 79; M Schneider (Ger) 72 74; R Kakko  (Fin) 72 74; R De Sousa (Sui) 71 75; J Hahn (USA) 67 79; J Kunzenbacher (Ger) 78 68; S Dodd (Wal) 79 67; 

147 B Hemstock (Eng) 77 70; J Lucquin (Fra) 75 72; J Billing (Swe) 71 76; I Garrido (Esp) 70 77; B Hafthorsson (Isl) 74 73; 

148 D Løkke (Den) 73 75; G Cambis  (Fra) 69 79; T Sluiter  (Ned) 74 74; G Houston (Wal) 70 78; 

150 M Bremner (RSA) 80 70; T Linard (Fra) 80 70; D Ulrich (Sui) 76 74; A Bernadet  (Fra) 75 75; J Wahlqvist (Swe) 81 69; M Southgate  (Eng) 70 80; J Wilson (Aus) 71 79; K Subregis  (Fra) 69 81; A Canete (Arg) 71 79; 

151 B Ninyette (Aus) 77 74; P Price (Wal) 73 78; N Floren (Swe) 83 68; Z Lombard  (RSA) 77 74; P Howard (am) (Eng) 70 81; 

152 O Bekker (RSA) 75 77; 

154 M Brown (Nzl) 84 70; 

156 O Henningsson  (Swe) 80 76; 

WD J Remesy (Fra) 72 WD;