Peter Lawrie appears condemned to the European Tour Q-School Finals to battle for his card following his missed cut in the Portugal Masters in Vilamoura.
The 41-year old is sponsored by Denis O’Brien’s PGA Catalunya Resort and bar a late and highly unlikely 17th invitation of the season for the final counting event of the season in Hong Kong next week, the 2008 Spanish Open winner must go to Q-School there next month if he wants to win back the card he lost two years ago.
Lawrie made his first visit to Q-School for 13 years last year but failed to regain his card by a single shot having finished outside the Top 110 in the Race to Dubai
Unless he is given another invitation next week, 123rd ranked Lawrie will be at the Final Stage again from November 14-19.
It appears unlikely the he will be joined there by Damien McGrane, who is 168th in the Race to Dubai and resigned to his fate despite the fact that he can still get the top-two finish he needs, having made the cut with two shots to spare on three under after a one over 72.
The 44-year old from Kells is 11 strokes behind leader Andy Sullivan, who has a three-shot advantage of Belgian Thomas Pieters on 14 under after carding a 64 alongside Padraig Harrington, who is tied for 54th on two under with Paul Dunne (72) after a second successive 70.
Kevin Phelan, who at 125th in the Race to Dubai also needs a Top-7 finish to make the Top 110 who earn full cards, is just a few thousand euro short of the Top 111-125 who have category 16 membership of the tour.
The Mount Juliet touring professional made the one under par cut on the mark thanks to a second round 71 but lies seven strokes outside the Top-7.
If he fails to finish in the Top 110, he will still head to Q-School though he has still managed to get 20 starts this season on his category.
Dunne, 22, needs to add another €151,000 to the €87,000 he’s already earned on invitations if he’s to earn enough to finish in the Top 110. That would require a Top-2.
His alternative is a Top-10 which would get him into get into Hong Kong. if not, he’s heading home to prepare for the Second Qualifying Stage at one of four Spanish venues from November 6-9.
Severe storms with 50mph-plus winds are predicted for late Saturday morning and organisers have taken the rare decision to hold a shotgun start — groups teeing off on all 18 holes from 8am — in an attempt to get day three completed.
“Due to the extremely poor weather forecast for the next two days it has been decided that the best chance of completing the third round is to schedule a shotgun start from 8am on Saturday,” said a statement from the European Tour.
“All parties have agreed to this in the best interests of the tournament.”
Sullivan, who began the day tied with Nicolas Colsaerts on seven under, is currently sitting pretty at the top of the leaderboard after a second successive 64 moved him to 14 under and three shots clear of Pieters, who carded a 66 and is also looking for his third win of the season.
If only three rounds are possible, the prize money is likely to be reduced as it was 12 months ago when Alexander Levy won a 36-hole Portugal Masters just last year after torrential rain made the Oceånico Victoria Golf Club unplayable.
Darren Clarke (75) and Michael Hoey (72) missed the cut by five on four over.
“It’s always nice to back up a good score with another one. Sometimes it’s quite tough to go out there and do it again, but I played much in the same vein as I did yesterday. I felt really confident out there, attacked the flags again and putted with heart again. So it was difficult not to shoot a good a score, the way I was hitting it and putting it.
“It’s always nice to start with a birdie to keep the momentum rolling. After that, there weren’t too many periods where I didn’t have a birdie. So it was nice just to keep it flowing.
“I hit a few really good chip shots today, but the one on the seventh was just ridiculous. Me and my caddie were just thinking to ourselves that if I left myself with a ten footer for par back down the hill it would really be nice, so to see it go in was a massive relief."
“I thought I played better yesterday, but still managed to hit it close a few times today and I played the par fives well. I was pretty disappointed with the finish, missing two short putts, but at least I’ve given myself a chance going into tomorrow.
“Even though the forecast for tomorrow doesn’t look great, I’ve still got to try to make birdies. I don’t know how bad it’s going to be, but hopefully we can get at least three rounds in.”
José María Zamora, Tournament Director
“On Saturday morning we are expecting some very heavy rain from one o’clock onwards, so the only option to try to get the third round completed will be to have a shotgun start.
“At this moment in time, the forecast for Sunday is not looking great either. But our first priority is to try to get the third round completed. Then if we get lucky, there’s a chance we can play the fourth round on Sunday.
“It’s a real shame, because the weather so far this week has been fantastic. It’s so hot and sunny out there today, we’ve got thousands of people following the golf. We were also very unfortunate last year with the cancellation of the last two rounds because of the weather, but hopefully we can get at least three rounds done this year.
“We’re going to change the preparation of the golf course for the third round. As well as the rain we’re also expecting 30-40 miles per hour winds, so we’ll not be cutting the greens. We will also move some of the tees forward to make the course more playable, because we’re expecting a really tough day.”
Round Two Scores
128 A Sullivan (Eng) 64 64,
131 T Pieters (Bel) 65 66, 132 B Wiesberger (Aut) 68 64, E De La Riva (Esp) 65 67,
133 A Wall (Eng) 69 64, T Fleetwood (Eng) 69 64,
134 T Fisher Jnr (RSA) 66 68, A Otaegui (Esp) 67 67, S Kjeldsen (Den) 68 66, T Bjørn (Den) 67 67, C Paisley (Eng) 67 67,
135 H Otto (RSA) 70 65, A Quiros (Esp) 67 68, T Aiken (RSA) 65 70, S Jamieson (Sco) 67 68, P Maddy (Eng) 66 69, A Hansen (Den) 68 67, N Colsaerts (Bel) 64 71, J Singh (Ind) 69 66, J Campillo (Esp) 66 69, B Ritthammer (Ger) 69 66,
136 D Drysdale (Sco) 65 71, R Cabrera-Bello (Esp) 68 68, K Broberg (Swe) 66 70, G Mulroy (RSA) 69 67,
137 C Wood (Eng) 68 69, R Rock (Eng) 70 67, D Brooks (Eng) 68 69, E Espana (Fra) 70 67,
138 C Lee (Sco) 67 71, C Doak (Sco) 69 69, J Van Zyl (RSA) 71 67, G Storm (Eng) 68 70, M Korhonen (Fin) 69 69, S Gallacher (Sco) 67 71, R Wattel (Fra) 67 71, R Green (Aus) 68 70, D Fichardt (RSA) 68 70, J Quesne (Fra) 70 68, B Stow (Eng) 69 69, O Fisher (Eng) 69 69,
139 J Carlsson (Swe) 66 73, M Warren (Sco) 71 68, A Cañizares (Esp) 70 69, A Johnston (Eng) 70 69, J Scrivener (Aus) 70 69, J Walters (RSA) 71 68, Damien McGrane (Irl) 67 72, B Hebert (Fra) 75 64, G Bourdy (Fra) 70 69, R Gouveia (Por) 71 68, M Lundberg (Swe) 70 69, T Silva (am) (Por) 71 68,
140 R Gonzalez (Arg) 70 70, M Kaymer (Ger) 70 70, L Jensen (Den) 73 67, Paul Dunne (Irl) 68 72, S Hutsby (Eng) 72 68, Pádraig Harrington (Irl) 70 70,
141 T Olesen (Den) 71 70, R Paratore (Ita) 70 71, Kevin Phelan (Irl) 70 71, L Bjerregaard (Den) 72 69, R Bland (Eng) 71 70, P Lawrie (Sco) 71 70, S Brown (Eng) 73 68, M Crespi (Ita) 68 73, M Kieffer (Ger) 71 70, D Gaunt (Aus) 72 69, B Evans (Eng) 73 68, G Havret (Fra) 71 70, J Kruger (RSA) 72 69
142 A Hortal (Esp) 71 71, M Madsen (Den) 70 72, M Siem (Ger) 70 72, L Slattery (Eng) 71 71, N Fasth (Swe) 72 70, T Cruz (Por) 71 71, R Jacquelin (Fra) 72 70, M Ford (Eng) 71 71, G Stal (Fra) 69 73, F Aguilar (Chi) 71 71, F Fritsch (Ger) 70 72, R Santos (Por) 69 73, P Larrazábal (Esp) 72 70, A Tadini (Ita) 73 69,
143 A Velasco (Esp) 70 73, J Garcia Pinto (Esp) 70 73, T Murray (Eng) 70 73, D Woltman (USA) 73 70, T Lewis (Eng) 72 71, R Fisher (Eng) 67 76, C Del Moral (Esp) 70 73, M Manassero (Ita) 75 68, S Hansen (Den) 73 70, V Lopes (am) (Por) 74 69,
144 P Oriol (Esp) 72 72, M Carlsson (Swe) 70 74, R McEvoy (Eng) 74 70, J Lagergren (Swe) 78 66,
145 O Farr (Wal) 73 72, C Bouniol (Fra) 73 72, P Edberg (Swe) 72 73, M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 70 75, J Barnes (Eng) 73 72, P Lawrie (Irl) 73 72, J Carlota (Por) 71 74,
146 M Foster (Eng) 76 70, Michael Hoey (Nir) 74 72, J Roos (RSA) 72 74, T Hatton (Eng) 76 70, J Lima (Por) 78 68, M Lampert (Ger) 69 77, A Levy (Fra) 72 74, ** R Finch (Eng) 75 WD,
146 Darren Clarke (Nir) 71 75, M Tullo (Chi) 71 75,
147 S Benson (Eng) 73 74, J Edfors (Swe) 75 72,
148 J Hahn (USA) 77 71, M Nixon (Eng) 75 73,
149 C Lloyd (Eng) 77 72,
151 A Pavan (Ita) 71 80,
152 J Lando Casanova (Fra) 76 76,
153 N Elvira (Esp) 75 78,
156 P Figueiredo (Por) 77 79