Pádraig Harrington, Michael Hoey and Ruaidhri McGee missed the four under par cut but Paul Dunne has a chance to take another step towards retaining his tour card in the weather-reduced Porsche European Open.
As Harrington (71-68) and Hoey (67-72) missed the cut by one stroke and McGee (69-71) by two, Dunne made 10 birdies against just one double bogey in rounds of 66 and 68 to in go the third and final round tied for 12th.
The 23-year old is on eight under par and while that’s nine strokes behind Frenchman Alexander Levy, ho leads by four shots from Michael Jonzon, he’s within touching distance of a top-10 finish that would virtually secure his card for 2017.
“I am pretty pleased to be honest,” said Dunne, who is 107th in the Race to Dubai with €211,618, some €40,000 short of what it took to finish in the top 110 who kept their cards last year.
“We didn’t get a practice round but when I walked it I thought it was quite a demanding course off the tee. But once you drive it well, you get a lot of chances with the greens being good. I am happy with eight under.
"The scoring is lower than I expected. Obviously everyone is playing well this week but it’s been two good days work. I have played well and when I have struggled, I have recovered well.
"I had one double and no other bogeys so I just need to get some putts to go in and hopefully shoot a low one tomorrow.
“With the position I am in, I need to finish as high as I can so the key for me tomorrow is to hit my driver well and I will give myself a lot of chances. If I do that I will shoot a good score.
“I am just going to do some work on the range and the putting green this afternoon because it has been a long week with a lot of delays.
“I am 107 in the Race to Dubai. This is my sixth in a row and the last five events I have had two top 20s and a top 10 so, it’s not far away. Even when I missed the cut I felt like my game is fine. They are small margins our here between finishing up the leaderboard and missing the cut. Hopefully I can take advantage tomorrow, play well and shoot a good number.”
Levy is within touching distance of a third European Tour victory in an event which has been reduced to 54 holes following several lengthy fog delays.
The 26 year old played just one hole on day three at Golf Resort Bad Griesbach, having held a five-shot overnight clubhouse lead following the suspension of play on day two. He completed his eight under par 63 with a safe par at the ninth, his last, for a 17 under total.
That season-record two-round aggregate score left him four clear of the nearest challenger Michael Jonzon, who matched Levy’s second round 63 to move to 13 under, the Swede having been the last man in the field after receiving the call to play on Wednesday.
Ross Fisher lies in third place on his own on 12 under while two home favourites, Florian Fritsch and Martin Kaymer, will be joined in the second last group by Bernd Wiesberger from nearby Austria in a dream draw for the home crowds, with all three tied for fourth on 11 under.
“I had four good shots and a nice par today but it was not good coming up this morning and seeing the fog again. But it’s OK, I just stayed patient and made two good shots, one from the tee and one from the fairway and that’s all I wanted to do that.
“We have fun in the players’ lounge, the French players, and I will just go and practice a bit a bit, go for a gym session and be ready for tomorrow. I will be ready to play tomorrow.
“I don’t watch the leaderboard overnight. I’m just trying to think about my own game and do the best that I can and that’s the most important thing.”
“I'm very, very happy, especially with the way I've been putting. I'm rolling the ball very nicely on the greens. If anything I felt that the driver and the long irons were a little bit more off than Thursday but I'm making birdies so I'm happy.
“I always said I function well under these circumstances. I struggle more just trying to make cuts because I can put a lot of pressure on myself. I know what I can do and sometimes I try too much.
“It was a really nice bonus to go and play so it was probably a different mind-set to a normal week where you arrive on Monday or Tuesday.
“I've been there before. I'm just going to go out tomorrow and try to shoot as good as I can, whatever happens after that is not in my control. I'm going to be trying as hard as I can and be proud of my effort tomorrow.”
“I’m just relieved to get finished. The last couple of days have been pretty long to say the least. Yesterday was a long testing day and it felt like I played really solid all day. It would have been nice to have kept going but I managed to finish the sixth and had a good up and down for par.
“Obviously I had seven, eight and nine to finish this morning and I got up here, ready to play and obviously a lot of fog so you’re kind of just sitting around and waiting to hear what will happen.
“But it was a nice two shots on nine, two putt and two rounds of 65 for 12 under – it’s decent but I’m five behind so I need to play very well tomorrow. Obviously Alex is playing great and he’s pretty good at reduced holes tournaments – in Portugal he shot 63-61 to win and he’s shot 62-63 here. I’m playing well but I just want to go out there and enjoy it.
“There’s still a lot to play for and it’s nice to know now that we’ve only got one round to go. It’s a tough decision but I think they’ve made the right call.
“The greenkeepers have done an outstanding job to get the course anywhere near playable and it’s in perfect condition. The greens are absolutely fantastic – if we were putting on greens like this all year you’d be a very happy player. The course is in remarkable shape.”
“It was very long, I prepared for six hours before I could play. It’s a very long week, last week was long and this week is long too – people ask me if it’s an advantage or a disadvantage being on either side of the draw but I think when you play well you don’t see an advantage.
“It’s just long mornings. I played solid today, the same as how I played the first round. I putted really well yesterday, didn’t miss any putts for the chances I created. I could take advantage of them especially on the front nine, my back nine. I think I played them under par over two days.
“I just need to keep doing and obviously Levy is playing great golf. He played well last week too and you have to give him credit.
“It’s a little bit of a different approach now from playing four rounds. I’m not here to finish second or third but it’s a matter of trying to win a golf tournament. We don’t have many chances to win in our home country and if you do, I know how nice it feels so I wouldn’t mind winning this event too.”
125 A Levy (Fra) 62 63,
129 M Jonzon (Swe) 66 63,
130 R Fisher (Eng) 65 65,
131 B Wiesberger (Aut) 63 68, F Fritsch (Ger) 67 64, M Kaymer (Ger) 67 64,
132 B Dredge (Wal) 68 64, R Karlsson (Swe) 69 63, J Hugo (RSA) 66 66,
133 M Southgate (Eng) 66 67, S Lee (Kor) 66 67,
134 P Peterson (USA) 68 66, D Lipsky (USA) 68 66, R Bland (Eng) 67 67, Paul Dunne (Irl) 66 68, E De La Riva (Esp) 68 66, O Fisher (Eng) 66 68,
135 F Zanotti (Par) 69 66, T Lewis (Eng) 67 68, R Green (Aus) 67 68, M Carlsson (Swe) 67 68, J Walters (RSA) 66 69, R Jacquelin (Fra) 67 68, T Fleetwood (Eng) 70 65, T Jaidee (Tha) 69 66, N Ravano (Ita) 67 68, J Scrivener (Aus) 64 71, S Webster (Eng) 66 69, M Lundberg (Swe) 66 69, N Colsaerts (Bel) 69 66, F Laporta (Ita) 67 68, G Havret (Fra) 68 67,
136 R Dinwiddie (Eng) 68 68, M Korhonen (Fin) 70 66, M Rottluff (Ger) 67 69, R Paratore (Ita) 65 71, A Lahiri (Ind) 68 68, J Van Zyl (RSA) 69 67, L List (USA) 68 68, R McEvoy (Eng) 68 68, N Fasth (Swe) 70 66, M Schneider (Ger) 67 69, C Lee (Sco) 69 67, E Molinari (Ita) 68 68, J Lagergren (Swe) 67 69,
137 D Howell (Eng) 69 68, R Sterne (RSA) 69 68, M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 67 70, T Fisher Jnr (RSA) 70 67, R Kakko (Fin) 68 69, L Bjerregaard (Den) 66 71, S Manley (Wal) 69 68, B Ritthammer (Ger) 70 67, C Paisley (Eng) 71 66, L Nemecz (Aut) 69 68, R Gouveia (Por) 70 67, D Drysdale (Sco) 70 67,
138 P Meesawat (Tha) 67 71, P Oriol (Esp) 70 68, J McLeary (Sco) 68 70, D Horsey (Eng) 69 69, P Lawrie (Sco) 70 68, D Im (USA) 66 72, T Pieters (Bel) 71 67, D Frittelli (RSA) 70 68, D Brooks (Eng) 68 70, M Siem (Ger) 69 69, R Evans (Eng) 68 70, T Linard (Fra) 70 68,
139 R Davies (Wal) 68 71, L Haotong (Chn) 68 71, J Fahrbring (Swe) 69 70, M Madsen (Den) 72 67, Padraig Harrington (Irl) 71 68, M Baldwin (Eng) 67 72, Michael Hoey (Nir) 67 72, S Khan (Eng) 72 67, M Ford (Eng) 70 69, B Cauley (USA) 68 71, G Stal (Fra) 68 71, G Storm (Eng) 67 72, G Coetzee (RSA) 71 68, T Olesen (Den) 68 71, A McArthur (Sco) 68 71, S Jamieson (Sco) 68 71, A Otaegui (Esp) 66 73, F Aguilar (Chi) 68 71, T Rosenmüller (am) (Ger) 67 72,
140 P Larrazábal (Esp) 70 70, D Gavins (Eng) 68 72, M Kinhult (Swe) 70 70, J Morrison (Eng) 69 71, J Senior (Eng) 71 69, B Hebert (Fra) 68 72, R Wattel (Fra) 74 66, P Edberg (Swe) 72 68, Ruaidhri McGee (Irl) 69 71, J Roos (RSA) 70 70, L Jensen (Den) 69 71, M Foster (Eng) 68 72, B Evans (Eng) 67 73, U Van Den Berg (RSA) 71 69, B Stone (RSA) 69 71, P Hanson (Swe) 73 67, S Gallacher (Sco) 66 74,
141 A Quiros (Esp) 73 68, J Quesne (Fra) 70 71, R McGowan (Eng) 72 69, M Kieffer (Ger) 67 74, M Manassero (Ita) 70 71, B Åkesson (Swe) 69 72, A Cañizares (Esp) 70 71, G Boyd (Eng) 75 66, Z Lombard (RSA) 72 69, Y Yang (Kor) 70 71, J Carlsson (Swe) 68 73,
142 W Ashun (Chn) 70 72,
143 S Chawrasia (Ind) 68 75, J Donaldson (Wal) 71 72, J Parry (Eng) 68 75,
144 A Dodt (Aus) 70 74, L Canter (Eng) 72 72, R Karlberg (Swe) 74 70, C Koepka (USA) 72 72, T Van Der Walt (RSA) 70 74, J Hansen (Den) 69 75,
145 S Heisele (Ger) 74 71, J Campillo (Esp) 72 73, O Wilson (Eng) 71 74, H Porteous (RSA) 72 73, C Berardo (Fra) 71 74,
146 J Robinson (Eng) 77 69, L McCoy (USA) 70 76, C Hanson (Eng) 71 75, J Winther (Den) 75 71, B Rumford (Aus) 71 75, C Danielson (USA) 72 74, S Dyson (Eng) 70 76, A John (am) (Ger) 72 74,
147 J Jeong (Kor) 72 75, N Elvira (Esp) 74 73, D Dixon (Eng) 73 74, E España (Fra) 71 76,
148 S Hend (Aus) 72 76,
150 S Jeppesen (Swe) 76 74, M Every (USA) 75 75,
157 P Uihlein (USA) 73 84,
DQ/RT B Virto (Esp) 73 RT, J Busby (Eng) 76 DQ, R Ramsay (Sco) 74 DQ, M Grönberg (Swe) 72 DQ, S Benson (Eng) 74 RT, E Els