Hot Kearney blasts 64 at Asian Tour Q-School
 Niall Kearney. Picture: Getty

Niall Kearney. Picture: Getty

The Three Wise Men don't come bearing gifts until tonight but Royal Dublin’s Niall Kearney gave himself the perfect Christmas present when he fired an eight under par 64 to move to within four shots of the lead at the halfway stage of the Asian Tour Q-School’s First Stage Section B in Thailand.

The Dubliner, 28, scorched to the turn in six under 30 at Suvarnabhumi Golf & Country Club in Bangkok, carding four bridies and an eagle two before picking up two more shots on the par fives on the back nine.

At 10 under par, the former Walker Cup star is tied for eighth place at a venue where the top 26 and ties will progress to next week's Final Stage.

He’s four shots behind Swiss amateur Michael Harradine, who also fired an eight under par 64 to share the second round lead with Sejun Yoon (66) of the United States and Varanyu Rattanaphiboonkij (63) of Thailand.

Junhyeok Park of Korea was a further shot back while Janne Kaske of Finland, an Asian Development Tour (ADT) regular, was among those bunched in tied fifth place as he aims to finish inside the top-26 and ties to qualify for the Final Stage next week.

At the Windsor Park Golf Club, Japan’s Kento Nakai produced a five-under-par 67 to lead by one shot on nine-under-par 135.

Englishman Steve Parry was in second place while Youngjea Byun of Korea, Kookhyan Kim, Victor Osterby of Denmark and Jeffrey Kang of the United States shared third. The top-25 and ties from Windsor move on to the Final Stage.

Limerick’s Tim Rice, who was entered for the First Stage Section B this week decided not to travel.

Kearney, a two time winner of the Irish Professional Championship, played mainly on the PGA Europro Tour in 2016, finishing 39th in the Order of Merit.

He was also 39th on the Irish Region's Order of Merit having played just six times.

The former South of Ireland and Brabazon Trophy winner did not make it through the Final Stage of the Asian Tour Q-School last year and also came up short at Stage Two of the European Tour Qualifying School, missing out by two shots at El Saler in November.

Muskerry's Niall Turner, who missed 2016 through injury, will have a medical exemption on the Asian Tour this year and should get to play most events.

Asian Tour Q-Schoo, First Stage, Section B