Niall Kearney in action at last year’s Irish PGA. Photo by Jenny Matthews/www.golffile.ieNiall Kearney added a second round 69 to his opening 71 to put himself in a strong position to qualify for the final stage of the Asian Tour Qualifying School next week.

The former Walker Cup player, 23, is tied for seventh place on four under par in his stage one qualifier at Royal Springfield Country Club in Thailand.

The Dubliner is just four strokes behind leader Stephen Lewton of England, who leads by a stroke on eight under from American Sam Cyr. The top 20 percent at each of the four qualifying venues will go on to tee it up at next week’s Final Stage where the top-40 and ties will earn playing rights on the Asian Tour for 2012.

Ryoma Yamagata of Japan fired a five-under-par 67 to lead the halfway stage at Lakeview Golf Resort while South Africans Jacques Blaauw and Jake Redman occupied the top two spots at the Majestic Creek Golf Resort.

Australia’s Blake McGrory holds a two-shot lead after shooting a one-under-par 71 for a 143 total at the Banyan Golf Club.