Headfort's Brian Casey notched the first hole-in-one of his golfing life to give himself a chance of victory on the Gecko Pro Tour in Spain.
The Meath star, who cruised to his first professional victory in the Alps Tour Q--School before Christmas, holed a six-iron from 166 yards on the 17th at former Volvo World Match Play venue Finca Cortesin.
Thanks to his maiden ace, Casey opened with a three under 69 in the 36-hole mini tour event to go into the final round in solo second place, just one stroke behind leader James Robinson of England.
Casey could take home €2,000 for the win on a tour that pits top amateurs against seasoned professionals.
"It's a great warm up for the Alps Tour, playing with ex tour pros and playing on good courses. I can't wait to get going this season."
Jeff Hopkins (72) is tied sixth with Simon Ward (74) back in 10th at Finca Cortesin where there were several other Irishmen in action. Scores
Casey has already made some cash on the Gecko Tour and will be in Egypt later this month for the first two events of the 2014 Alps Tour schedule.
Having failed to win his Alps Tour card, Alan Dunbar finished tied 30th in the eGolf Tour's Citrus Open in Florida last week.
Meanwhile, at the halfway stage of the European Senior Tour's Q-School in Portugal, Corkman John McHenry is still alive in the chase for six full cards and an additional seven conditional cards.
The former Director of Golf at The K Club added a level par 71 to his opening 72 to share 14th place, just two strokes outside the automatic qualifiers for full playing rights in 2014.
Former European Tour winner Andrew Murray shot a second successive two under par 69 at Pestana Golf Resort’s Pinta Course to lead on four under.
Castlemartyr based amateur John O'Brien, another Corkman, added a one over 72 to his opening 76 to share 42nd spot on six over