Q-School: Fairweather heads Irish as just five survive 54-hole cut
 Ulster's Colin Fairweather and Dermot McElroy during the second day of the 2016 Interprovincial Championship at Fota Island Golf Club (04/07/2016). Picture by  Pat Cashman

Ulster's Colin Fairweather and Dermot McElroy during the second day of the 2016 Interprovincial Championship at Fota Island Golf Club (04/07/2016). Picture by Pat Cashman

Colin Fairweather heads a quintet of Irish golfers hoping to finish inside the top 20 after Friday’s final round and make it to next month’s Second Stage of the European Tour Qualifying School.

As Stuart Grehan, Brian McElhinney and Kevin Le Blanc missed the 54-hole cut at Frilford Heath in Oxfordshire, Fairweather shot a level par 72 to share fourth place on four-under-par, two off the lead, at a venue where the top 20 and ties qualify.

Exactly 30 players go into the final round on level par or better with Naas’ Conor O’Rourke (72) and Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy (71) tied for ninth on two-under.

Royal Dublin’s Niall Kearney made five birdies in a 69 to move up 25 places to tie 16th, a shot inside the top 20 and ties, on one-under.

Only those players within seven shots of the final qualifying place (currently level par) make the 54-hole cut which means that Moyola Park’s Chris Selfridge got through with a shot to spare on six-under after a 70.

The 25-year old has been hampered by injury for the best part of two years and may need a round in the mid-60s to keep his card hopes alive.

Tullamore’s Grehan, who was making his professional debut, birdied his final hole for a 77 but while he missed out by just one shot on eight-over, four birdies were not enough to cancel out five bogeys and two double bogeys.

McElhinney shot 78 for the second day running to finish seven shots outside the cut mark with The Island's Kevin Le Blanc, completely out of sorts since he turned professional, back in last place.

In Italy, Gerard Piris Mateu continued his impressive run to take a two-stroke lead into the final round at the First Stage Qualifying Section D Bogogno Golf Resort.

First Qualifying Stage Section D, Frilford Heath Red (Par 72)

Detailed scores

Top 20 and ties

1 TARVER-JONES Peter ENG -6 68 69 73 210
2 DEAN Joseph ENG -5 68 70 73 211
2 FORD James ENG -5 66 72 73 211
4 FAIRWEATHER Colin NIR -4 74 66 72 212
4 HELLGREN Björn SWE -4 70 72 70 212
4 HOWARTH Jamie ENG -4 70 69 73 212
7 LASKEY Mark WAL -3 72 69 72 213
7 WATSON Nick ENG -3 68 72 73 213
9 BOOTE David WAL -2 69 72 73 214
9 CHANG Heemin KOR -2 72 70 72 214
9 HORSFIELD Sam ENG -2 73 72 69 214
9 MCELROY Dermot NIR -2 73 70 71 214
9 O'ROURKE Conor IRL -2 68 74 72 214

9 RÖNNEBLAD Hannes SWE -2 70 71 73 214
9 SHERIDAN - MILLS Henry ENG -2 71 69 74 214
16 JAMES Mark ENG -1 72 70 73 215
16 KEARNEY Niall IRL -1 75 71 69 215
16 SHERWOOD Nick USA -1 74 72 69 215
19 COUPLAND Dave ENG 0 72 69 75 216
19 FLACK Kevin USA 0 74 72 70 216
19 JONES Ioan WAL 0 70 75 71 216
19 KOKOCINSKI Malcolm SWE 0 73 72 71 216
19 KUNZENBACHER Julian GER 0 68 75 73 216
19 LAWRIE Craig SCO 0 76 69 71 216
19 MAYE Clifford FRA 0 68 72 76 216
19 PHILLIPS Van ENG 0 71 75 70 216
19 SØGAARD Mads DEN 0 69 75 72 216
19 SPOONER Billy ENG 0 70 73 73 216
19 THOMSON Jonathan ENG 0 72 73 71 216
19 WATT Brady AUS 0 71 76 69 216

Other Irish

58 SELFRIDGE Chris NIR +6 76 76 70 222 

Missed the 54-hole cut (223)

  • 65 GREHAN Stuart IRL +8 76 71 77 224
  • 83 MCELHINNEY Brian IRL +14 74 78 78 230
  • 97 LE BLANC Kevin IRL +34 80 83 87 250