Walker Cup star Alan Dunbar boosted his chances of winning his tour card when he fired a second round 66 in his Stage One Section B qualifier at the European Tour Qualifying School in England.
The Rathmore player, who can win his card and still take advantage of an invitation to next year’s Masters, had eight birdies in a sensational 11-hole stretch at Wychwood Park in Crewe.
He moved up from 34th to tied second at a venue where the top 23 and ties will qualify for November’s second stage in Spain with David Higgins, Barrie Trainor and Jonny Caldwell also poised to join him.
At the other Section B qualifier in Germany, Dubliner Niall Kearney hit a level par 72 to lie a shot inside the top 24 and ties on three under.
Despite battling back pain, former footballer Stephen Grant shot a two under 70 to move up to two over par, just four shots outside the qualifying places.
First Qualifying Stage Section B
<<Top 23 and ties to progress>>
1 Rob Harris (Eng) 71 67 (-6)
T2 Alan DUNBAR (AM) Rathmore GC 75 66 (-3)
T6 Cian CURLEY Team Ireland 70 74 (Even)
T9 David HIGGINS Waterville Golf Links 72 73 (+1)
T9 Barrie TRAINOR Mayobridge GC 75 70 (+3)
T20 Jonathan CALDWELL Clandeboye GC 74 73 (+3)
<<Top 23 and ties +3 or better>>
T27 David P JONES Bushfoot GC 75 73 (+4)
T35 Donal GLEESON Old Conna Golf Club 74 77 (+7)
T35 Paul CUTLER Portstewart 78 73 (+7)
T81 Graeme DUNLEA Adare Manor H&GR 80 81 (+17)
T85 Matt MCALPINE (AM) Royal Portrush 80 83 (+19)
86 Nick BRENNAN Bowood 85 79 (+20)
<<Top 24 and ties to progress>
1 Marcus Larsson (Swe) 66 63 (-15)
T18 Niall KEARNEY Royal Dublin 69 72 (-3)
<<Top 24 and ties -2 or better>>
T45 Stephen GRANT The Heritage 76 70 (+2)
T91 Shane FRANKLIN Ireland 76 83 (+15)