Gavin Moynihan's hopes of promotion to the European Tour suffered a blow when he carded a second round 73 to fall ten shots off the lead in the NBO Golf Classic Grand Final in Oman.
With two rounds to go, Moynihan is tied for 26th on one-under and projected to come up more than €15,000 short of his goal of making the top 15 in the money list.
As things stand, he's projected to fall from 18th to 22nd in Rankings.
The Dubliner, 23, needs to finish as close to the top five on the leaderboard as possible to have a chance of moving into the top 15 on the final money list who will be awarded European Tour cards on Saturday evening.
While he still has the Final Stage of Q-School to fall back on, his problem is not just that he is tied 26th in the event but that several players behind him in the rankings are having good weeks.
They included 23rd-ranked Argentinian, Estanislao Goya, who is eyeing up a repeat of his 2008 Challenge Tour Grand Final win as he leads by one shot on 11-under par after a 66.
Already a winner this season in Sweden, Goya came into the week with work to do to improve on his 23rd spot.
Two good days have given him a strong chance and were he to win, he is projected to rise as high as third.
His nearest challenger is Finnish teenager Oliver Lindell, ranked 41st in the Road to Oman standings despite having started six months of military service last week.
The Finn still shot a seven under par 65 – the low round of the week so far – to sit alone in second on 10-under par, one shot ahead of French duo Thomas Linard and Clément Sordet (who made a hole-in-one on the eighth hole to earn an early two-shot lead.)
If things stay as they are, Goya and Lindell would both climb into the top 15 at the expense of Jens Dantorp and Robin Sciot-Siegrist, but much will change over the next two days before the Class of 2017 is finalised.
Projected Road to Oman rankings
|Leaderboard||Name||€||Proj. Event €||Proj. TOT|
|6||17||VAN ROOYEN Erik||RSA||125,976||5110||131086|
|40||37||VON DELLINGSHAUSEN Nicolai||GER||52,794||2965||55759|
|42||17||ARNOY Jarand Ekeland||NOR||47,567||5110||52677|
|44||43||MADSEN Morten Ørum||DEN||49,591||2,680||52,271|
“It was a really good day for me today. It was a little bit hotter so I had to keep hydrated a little bit more, and it was a little bit more tricky in terms of the wind, so we had to be very careful and focus, make sure we were in the right places.
“I think these days the Challenge Tour is getting more and more difficult, the standard is getting even stronger. You can see that from the players who have won this year, so many different winners, and it truly is the Challenge Tour.
“You have to play really well to get yourself into the top 15. I’m in a good position, I still have chances, so I’m just going to go out there and enjoy it this weekend.
“It’s the best course we play on the Challenge Tour. It’s a good test and you have to play well, but if you play well it rewards you. It’s a great challenge for the week and is a great location for our Grand Final.”
“If I’m in the top two [only a top-two finish will earn Lindell a spot in the top 15] I will go back to military service next week, but if not I have Final Stage of the European Tour Qualifying School next week to try to get my card.
“I think military service is good for me. So far I’ve been doing pretty basic things like shooting and getting the beds made – they’re long days, starting at six o’clock and ending at nine.
“I am in the sports corps so I get chances to practise my game and they will be letting me continue my golf career alongside my service.
“What Tapio [Pulkkanen, the current Challenge Tour Number One] has done inspires me a lot. I’ve been following him since he won the Nordic League in 2015. Last year I finished second so I’ve kind of always been one step behind him.
“The first time I played with him I was 12 and we had a national camp in Spain and I played a foursome with Tapio. He hit the ball a long way and I was good with my wedges so we beat the other national team players.”
NBO Golf Classic Grand Final, Al Mouj Golf (Par 72)
133 E Goya (Arg) 67 66,
134 O Lindell (Fin) 69 65,
135 T Linard (Fra) 68 67, C Sordet (Fra) 68 67,
136 A Meronk (Pol) 67 69, M Kinhult (Swe) 68 68,
137 N Cullen (Aus) 67 70,
138 S Fernandez (Esp) 69 69, S Heisele (Ger) 70 68,
139 J Heath (Eng) 68 71, O Farr (Wal) 68 71, O Lengden (Swe) 67 72, A Rai (Eng) 68 71, P Oriol (Esp) 69 70,
140 D Huizing (Ned) 70 70, M Schwab (Aut) 71 69,
141 G Porteous (Eng) 71 70, E Van Rooyen (RSA) 70 71, J Arnoy (Nor) 71 70, R Evans (Eng) 69 72, J Dantorp (Swe) 70 71, B Neil (Sco) 69 72, M Tullo (Chi) 70 71,
142 L Gagli (Ita) 70 72, G Forrest (Sco) 70 72,
143 J Guerrier (Fra) 71 72, C Mivis (Bel) 70 73, J Sjöholm (Swe) 72 71, G Moynihan (Irl) 70 73,
144 R Sciot-Siegrist (Fra) 72 72,
146 T Murray (Eng) 70 76, A Saddier (Fra) 70 76, C Ford (Eng) 73 73, R McEvoy (Eng) 71 75,
147 C Koepka (USA) 75 72, J Girrbach (Sui) 75 72,
148 N Von Dellingshausen (Ger) 71 77, S Brown (Eng) 75 73,
149 B Hafthorsson (Isl) 76 73,
150 M Ford (Eng) 79 71, P Howard (Eng) 77 73, V Perez (Fra) 77 73,
152 M Madsen (Den) 76 76,
154 T Pulkkanen (Fin) 71 83,
** M Lundberg (Swe) 76 RT