Dubliner Niall Kearney cruised into next week’s final stage of the Asian Tour Qualifying School when he finished third in his qualifier in Thailand.
The former Brabazon Trophy winner and Walker Cup player, 23, closed with a two under 70 to finish four strokes behind Australian Darren Tan on 10-under par at Springfield Royal Country Club (scores).
A total of 89 hopefuls joined 154 exempt players in the 72-hole Final Stage, which begins at Springfield Royal CC and Imperial Lakeview in Hua Hin next Wednesday with the top-40 and ties set to earn Asian Tour cards for 2012.
Tan led a total of 28 players at Springfield Royal Country Club after a four-under 68 left him three shots clear of American Sam Cyr with Kearney a stroke further back.
A total of 25 players qualified at Majestic Creek Golf Resort (scores) where South Africa’s Jacques Blaauw was the top player, firing a four-under 67 for a 14-under 270 total.
Ryoma Yamagata of Japan secured safe passage into the Final Stage despite shooting a three-over 75 at the Imperial Lakeview Golf Club (scores), where 31 players made the grade.
Meanwhile at the Banyan Golf Club (scores), Nico Bollini of the United States registered a one-under par 71 to finish on a five-under 283 and lead four other players into the next phase.
Kearney is expected to be joined by Muskerry’s Niall Turner, who finished 90th on the Asian Tour money list last term with earnings of $27,803 from 15 starts (breakdown).
Turner, 28, played in two events that were co-sanctioned by the European Tour last season - the Barclays Singapore Open and the Iskandar Johor Open.