Gareth Shaw squeaked into the field for Second Qualifying Stage fo the European Tour Qualifying School next Thursday by just €200 when he finished tied 51st in the National Bank of Oman Golf Classic.
A closing 72 gave the Lurgan man a cheque for € 1,026.78 in the last regular event of the season meaning he finished 89th in the Challenge Tour Rankings, just €200 ahead of 91st rank Matt Ford.
Having gambled on being inside the Top 90 in the Challenge Tour Rankings who would be exempt into the Second Stage, Shaw skipper the First Stage but missed the Top 90's late August deadline and was under massive pressure to get a result in Oman or face a difficult 2015.
A win in Oman would have catapulted him from 92nd into the top 45 who contest the season-ending Dubai Festival City Challenge Tour Grand Final hosted by Al Badia Golf Club, which starts on Wednesday next.
He looked on course to challenge for that win when he was slo third after an opening 68. But while a second round 79 was enough to make the cut with a shot to spare and keep his Top-90 hopes alive.
A third round 78 left him in danger of missing out on the Q-School action this year given the breakdown in the prize fund.
But in the end he closed with a 72 and made enough to finish €57 ahead of 90th ranked Jeff Winther and only €200 ahead of England's Matt Ford, who missed the cut in Oman but was already exempt into Second Stage.
As for the Oman event, Max Orrin produced one of the stories of the European Challenge Tour season by completing a stunning victory at the penultimate event of the year to move into contention for European Tour graduation.
The 20 year old clinched a two shot victory over friend and compatriot Jason Palmer after a nerveless one under par final round 71.
Orrin climbed 51 places in the Challenge Tour Rankings, from 68th to 17th, to secure his place in next week’s season-ending Dubai Festival City Challenge Tour Grand Final.
With Shaw added to the field, Ireland will have eight players at the Second Stage of the Q-School, which will be played at four Spanish venues from November 7-10 — Niall Turner, Michael McGeady, David Higgins, Niall Kearney, Brendan McCarroll, Mark Murphy and Ruaidhri McGee.
The qualifiers from each venue will join the exempt players from the European Tour and Challenge Tour in the Final Stage at PGA Catalunya from November 15-20, which will include Ireland's Peter Lawrie, Simon Thornton, Gareth Maybin and Kevin Phelan.
European Tour Second Qualifying Stage, November 7-10
Las Colinas Golf & Country Club, Alicante
- Niall Turner
Campo de Golf El Saler, Valencia
- Michael McGeady
Lumine Golf & Beach Club, Tarragona
- David Higgins
- Niall Kearney
- Brendan McCarroll
- Mark Murphy
Panoramica Golf & Sport Resort, Castellón
- Ruaidhri McGee
- Gareth Shaw