Thornton third in Europro Q-School

Simon Thornton was third as former Walker Cup player John Parry held his nerve to win the PGA EuroPro Tour Qualifying School at Frilford Heath in Oxford.

Parry (Harrogate GC) finished at four under for the tournament, one shot ahead of former amateur world number one Jamie Moul (Stoke by Nayland) and two clear of Royal County Down man Thornton.

Parry started the day at seven under but double bogeyed the first to instantly go on the back foot.

“I was happy to sink the putt on the first despite the dropped shots as I was still joint leader.” said the relieved champion.

He shot three over 74 in the end, with a bogey at 17 piling on the pressure down the 18th – but he held his par and kept his pal Moul at bay.

You are bound to be nervous,” said Parry. “But Jamie and I are friends and we were chatting throughout and it was good to play with him.”

Moul went through the front nine one under, but dropped shots at 13 and 14 put pay to his tilt at the title, as Parry held on.

An eagle at four was the only bright spot for Thornton who started the day just behind Parry on five under but bogeyed five holes to end three over for the tournament.

David Clark (Morpeth) finished fourth, one under after 54 holes.

It was another freezing day on the course for the 126 players that made the eight over cut after 36 holes. Jamie Elson was two under for the day to finish level for the tournament, and Daniel Gaunt (Selsdon Park) also carding 69 to end two over for 54 holes.

The Tour begins in earnest at Wensum Valley on April 30, with The Shire in Hertfordshire the second event a week on May 7. The closing date for players to enter the Wensum Valley event is Monday April 21 – players who wish to enter should contact the PGA.

-4 John Parry (Eng) 69 66 74
-3 Jamie Moul (Eng) 67 71 72
-2 Simon Thornton (Royal County Down) 68 79 74

+3 Tim Rice (Limerick) 73 71 72
+4 Stephen Grant (Grant Engineering) 72 75 70; Greg Bowden (Hermitage GC) 72 73 72; Danny Sugrue (Ireland) 72 72 73
+6 Mark O'Sullivan (Galway) 77 72 70
+12 Brendan McDermott (Castlecomer) 72 78 75
RTD Paul McDonald (Team Ireland) 74 76 RTD