Moynihan makes his move

Gavin Moynihan. Pictured winning the 2015 Irish Amateur Open by Pat Cashman

He might have bent one of his trusty wedges after a collision with a tree but Gavin Moynihan hit few snags in his First Stage Section C Qualifying School bid in Lisbon, firing a four 68 to move up to tied fourth with a round to go.

The 20-year old Walker Cup hero from The Island was three over after his first five holes of Tuesday's first round but is now 11 under for his last 49 holes and well placed to progress to next month's Second Stage at one of four Spanish venues.

There's still a long way to go before to make the Final Stage at PGA Catalunya, where only the top 25 and ties after six rounds will get full cards.

But after Thursday's five-birdie round at Ribagolfe near Lisbon, the two-time Irish Amateur Open champion is just five shots behind leader Petter Bocian of Sweden at a venue where the top 22 and ties qualify.

At Golf d'Hardelot in France, Derry's Michael McGeady shot a two over 73 but is tied for 11th on one under. four shots inside  the top 24 and ties who progress.

Ribagolfe scores —  Golf d'Hardelot scores

Moynihan was the only good news story for the Irish in Portugal as Ballyliffin's Brendan McCarroll made just one birdie in a 76 and is now four shots outside the magic number on one-over with a round to go.

Limerick's Tim Rice made no birdies in a 77 and lies tied 62nd on four over and needing a 65 to have a chance of progressing.

Teenager David Carey battled bravely and played his last 10 holes in four under for a 70 but missed the 54-hole cut by a shot on five over par.

Jonathan Mallon finished on 12 over after rounds of  79, 76 and 73.