Jimmy Heggarty is tied for fifth place at the halfway stage of the European Seniors Tour Qualifying School in Portugal.

The Ulsterman added a level par 71 to his opening 69 to trail leader Greg Towne of the USA by six shots on two under par at Vale da Pinta, Pestana Golf Resort.

The top six players will get a ranking in Category 6 for 2009 and are guaranteed a start in all 72-player events for the season while those finishing seventh through to 14th will get a ranking in Category 9, giving them a limited number of starts.

AmericanTowne made a superb up and down on the 17th hole to take a one stroke lead over Argentine Alfonso Barrera.
Towne followed his flawless first round 68 with a five under par 66, carding seven birdies and two bogeys.

The 49 year old shot level par last week to finish second behind Graham Gunn at Pinheiros Altos Golf Club in Stage One of Senior Tour Qualifying School and has carried his good form into the Final so far.

A hat-trick of birdies after the turn moved the man from Orlando to the top of the leaderboard, a shot clear of Barrera and two ahead of South African Bertus Smit, both of whom also signed for rounds of 66.

Towne, who quit playing on the US Nationwide Tour in 2001 to teach golf, said he was now concentrating on trying to win the tournament.

“I got off to a great start with birdies on the first two holes and that kind of sets you off in the right frame of mind,” he said. “I birdied the fifth hole – the hard par three again – and that’s kind of been my secret so far – playing the par threes well, as they are the hardest part of this course.

“On the back nine I made three straight birdies after the turn which was nice and gave me the boost to get going. I thought I hit a very good second shot on the 17th on the downslope and the pin was cut on the back but I chipped it in. The odds of getting that in are about 50-50 so that really helped me.”

“I putted very well all day. I’ve played sensibly – driving on fairways and being aggressive on putts you can be aggressive on and careful on those you have to be careful on.

“I played the Nationwide Tour and played in the US Open and made the cut in 1997 so I’ve been in some situations like this before – I’m more worried about my golf swing than about leading.”

Barrera dedicated his flawless round to his compatriot and close friend Horacio Carbonetti, who has been helping him with his game in the build up to Senior Tour Qualifying School.

Carbonetti gained his card after winning the Qualifying School Final in 2002, and Barrera said he wanted to follow in his friend’s footsteps after moving to seven under par.

“I played great today and I made no bogeys,” he said. “I’m feeling good about my game and I’m very motivated to go through. Horacio has changed my swing and it’s feeling much better. It is his 61st birthday today as well so it’s nice for him.”

Smit, who is on six under par, posted eight birdies and three bogeys in his best round of 2008.

He said: “I really felt comfortable with my swing and I putted really well today.”

England’s Glyn Krause is four shots off the lead on four under par, with ten players under par after two rounds.
Leading second round scores
 134 G Towne (USA) 68 66;
135 A Barrera (Arg) 69 66;
136 B Smit (RSA) 70 66;
138 G Krause (Eng) 71 67;
140 J Heggarty (Nir) 69 71; P Brostedt (Swe) 71 69; K Spurgeon (Eng) 68 72;
141 J Hoskison (Eng) 70 71; M Lord (Eng) 70 71; M Williams (Zim) 66 75; P Allan (Eng) 71 70;
142 D Kluver (USA) 74 68; T Giedeon (Ger) 69 73; J Grant (Sco) 69 73; J Anglada (Esp) 70 72;
143 B Stevens (Eng) 71 72; G Gunn (Can) 71 72; M Kierstenson (Eng) 75 68; J Davila (Esp) 71 72;
144 T Rastall (Eng) 69 75; S Martin (Sco) 71 73; C Henderson (Aus) 74 70; A Johnsson (Swe) 72 72; G Ryall (Eng) 70 74;
145 C Milne (USA) 73 72; M Briggs (Eng) 72 73; G Davies (Wal) 74 71; J Laforce (Can) 74 71; T Price (Wal) 71 74; H Stott (Eng) 70 75; C Williams (RSA) 72 73; D Narveson (USA) 72 73; J Sallat (Fra) 72 73; B Hardwick (Can) 74 71; B Rollinson (USA) 77 68; D Evans (am) (Wal) 71 74;
146 R Masters (Eng) 73 73; T Jones (USA) 73 73; M Miller (Sco) 74 72; J Lapsley (Nzl) 68 78; M Aparicio (Esp) 69 77; J Dias (Por) 76 70;
147 M Fernando (USA) 75 72; P Harrison (Eng) 77 70; P Dugeny (Fra) 74 73; S Chadwick (Eng) 70 77; B McColl (Sco) 74 73; J Benda (USA) 73 74; M Thomas (USA) 72 75;
148 L Soto (Ven) 74 74; R Van Blankers (Ned) 72 76; D Williamson (Sco) 78 70; S East (am) (Eng) 75 73;
149 J Gallardo (Esp) 75 74; D Saunders (Aus) 76 73; V Garcia (Esp) 74 75; D Bell (Can) 74 75;
150 M Gallagher (Eng) 80 70; N Goodison (Eng) 72 78; H Ferguson (Can) 76 74; D Young (Eng) 80 70; P Dahlberg (Swe) 75 75;
151 N Willett (Eng) 73 78; G Potter (Eng) 74 77; S Bishop (Eng) 79 72; R Mann (Eng) 74 77; D Stirling (Eng) 76 75; J Mills (am) (Eng) 78 73; O O'Hara (am) (Nir) 76 75;
152 G Banister (Aus) 79 73;
153 P Hanna (Nir) 79 74; F Guedra (Alg) 75 78; M Edmunds (Wal) 80 73;
154 F Ripamonti (Ita) 75 79;
155 R Fish (Eng) 79 76; T Planchin (Fra) 81 74; N Humphreys (Eng) 79 76; M Gammell (USA) 76 79