Kearney looking good after 66 at Q-School
 Royal Dublin's Niall Kearney. Picture Thos Caffrey / www.golffile.ie

Royal Dublin's Niall Kearney. Picture Thos Caffrey / www.golffile.ie

Royal Dublin's Niall Kearney is on track to make next week's European Tour Qualifying School Final Stage after a third round 66 left him tied for sixth in his Second Stage qualifier in Tarragona.

Eight Irishmen are among the 293 players in action at four Spanish venues, bidding for just 67 spots in the gruelling, six-round Final Stage, which begins at PGA Catalunya Resort next Saturday.

But with no more than 17 spots up for grabs at each course, only Kearney and Derry's Michael McGeady are on track to join Peter Lawrie, Gareth Maybin, Simon Thornton and Kevin Phelan in the battle to finish in the Top 25 and ties who will earn tour cards in Girona.

Kearney birdied his last two holes at Lumine Golf and Beach Club in Tarragona to post an immaculate six under 66 and leap 11 spots to tied sixth on eight under, 10 shots behind leader Ricardo Gouveia of Portugal.

But it's an uphill task now for the other three Irishmen at the venue with David Higgins tied 40th after a 70 and four shots outside the Top 17 who qualify there.

Fellow Waterville man Mark Murphy (72) slipped to tied 57th on two over with Ballyliffin's Brendan McCarroll (72) back in joint 65th on six over.

McGeady shot a level par 72 at El Saler in Valencia and at tied 17th, he's well in contention for one of 17 spots at one under.

Niall Turner, Ruaidhri McGee and Gareth Shaw need something spectacular to keep their dream alive.

Turner, who is virtually assured of an Asian Tour card via the second tied Asian Development Tour  rankings, is tied 49th at Las Colinas in Alicante, six shots outside the Top 17 on one under.

McGee shot a two under 70 at Panoramica in Castellon but ties five shots outside the Top 16 who will progress there on five under par.

Shaw is also in Castellon but despite adding a 71 to his second round 66, an opening 77 has proved hugely damaging and he's tied 59th on two under and looking for a final round 63 to have a chance.  

EUROPEAN TOUR SECOND QUALIFYING STAGE, NOVEMBER 7-10

LAS COLINAS GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB, ALICANTE (Par 71)

Spots available from here to Final Stage - 17

  • T49 Niall Turner 73 67 72 -1 (Top 17 at -7 and better)

CAMPO DE GOLF EL SALER, VALENCIA (Par 72)

Spots available from here to Final Stage: 17

  • T16 Michael McGeady 73 70 72 -1 (Top 17, at -1 and better)

 LUMINE GOLF & BEACH CLUB, TARRAGONA (Par 71)

Spots available from here to Final Stage: 17 (Top 17, at -5 or better)

  • T6 Niall Kearney 70 69 66 -8
  • T40 David Higgins 73 69 70 -1
  • T57 Mark Murphy 73 70 72 +2
  • T65 Brendan McCarroll 77 70 72 +6

PANORAMICA GOLF & SPORT RESORT, CASTELLÓN (Par 72)

Spots available from here to Final Stage - 16 (top 16 at -10 or better)

  • T47 Ruaidhri McGee 72 69 70 -5
  • T59 Gareth Shaw 77 66 71 -2