From Brian Keogh at San Roque
Stephen Browne drained a 50 footer at the last for a two under par 70 to keep his European Tour card hopes alive in the third round of the Qualifying School Finals at windy San Roque.
As Colm Moriarty stayed on track to finish in the top 30 after a one under par 71 left him joint 19th on two under, Browne produced a spirited back nine display and finished with back to back birdies and remain in contention to make the 72-hole cut for the top 70 and ties.
The 33-year-old Dubliner was one over par through the turn and six over for the tournament when he recalled a swing move that helped him storm home in 33 with birdies at the last two holes.
The Dubliner got up and down for birdie on the par five 17th and then drained a 50 foot putt on the Old Course’s 18th to lie him just one stroke outside the projected cut mark in tied 77th on three over par.
"That was just what the doctor ordered," said Browne. "For the first eight holes I didn’t play well and I could have been four or five over.
“But a few things occurred to me about my swing - something my coach Brendan McDaid told me once upon a time and I started to hit it really well.”
Moriarty’s one under par 71 on the New Course left him just inside the vital top 30 and ties on two under par and declared himself happy with his progress so far.
"I just played very solid," Moriarty said. "I had a few chances but all in all I am very happy with a 71 on a very tricky day after a bogey at the first."
Things look bleak for the other Irish hopefuls, who all played on the Old Course yesterday.
Damian Mooney found water three times in a 76 and is five shots outside the projected cut mark on seven over par while Cork’s Peter O'Keeffe (76) and Michael McGeady (75) are well out of the reckoning in joint 150th on 12 over par.
Spaniards Luis Claverie (68) and Pablo Larranazabal (71) lead by a stroke on eight under par from Scotland's Alan McLean and Austrian pair Florian Praegant (67) and Martin Wiegele (69).
Praegant was second reserve for the event but got in on Tuesday and took advantage in difficult conditions to card a best of the day 67.