Philip Walton. Picture Fran Caffrey/www.golffile.ieDungannon’s Fergal Rafferty birdied two of his last three holes to make it to stage two of the PGA Tour Q-School.

But Philip Walton failed to find the final round inspiration he needed to earn his place in the field for next month’s Champions Tour finals.

The 49-year old Dubliner closed with a 72 at Woodforest in Texas to finish four strokes outside the top 16 who progressed to the final stage.

England’s Barry Lane won the event, one of three Regional Qualifiers, by five strokes from Spaniard Miguel Martin on 275.

Just 16 players qualifed on 289 or better but Walton shot rounds of 72, 76, 73 and 72 for 293 and must now wait until next year to try again. He will be exempt on the European Senior Tour when he turns 50 on March 28.

Rafferty played his last six holes at Lantana in Texas in three under par to fire a one under 71. With the top 23 and ties progressing, he qualified on the mark in a five-man share of 20th on two under 286.

Two over with six to play after bogeys at the fifth and 10th, he birdied the 13th and 14th and then followed a bogey at the par-three 15th with further birdies at the 17 and 18th.