Ireland’s trio of contenders remain in the hunt for European Tour cards with Tramore’s Robin Dawson surviving the cut on the mark after a gutsy finish to his fourth round at the gruelling European Tour Qualifying School Final Stage in Spain.
Playing in just his fourth event as a professional, this year’s Irish Amateur Open champion slipped outside the top 70 and ties when he bogeyed his 12th and 13th holes (the third and fourth) on the Hills Course at Lumine Golf Club in Tarragona.
But he showed true grit by bouncing back birdies at his 15and 16th before finishing with two pars to card a two-under 70 that was enough to make the six-under par cut on the mark.
Like Gavin Moynihan and Cormac Sharvin, who are tied 29th and 49th respectively, Dawson has now secured a full Challenge Tour card for 2019.
But he has work to do to win a European Tour card as he’s six shots outside the top 25 and ties who gain promotion after two more rounds on the Lakes Course.
Moynihan (24) is the best placed of the Irish trio after he shot a one-under 70 on the Lakes Course to lie just one shot outside the top 25 and ties who will be awarded cards after tomorrow's sixth round.
"I played nicely today but struggled on the greens a bit and my back still at me, especially on long shots," said rough weather specialist Moynihan, who is tied for 29th on 11-under, nine strokes behind England’s Daniel Gavins.
”I'm in a good position and there's bad weather forecast for last two days, which is good."
Just 77 players made the cut with Ardglass man Sharvin (26) relieved to survive and ensure he at least has a strong Challenge Tour card for 2019.
“I felt a bit of pressure going out there after finishing 71st in the Challenge Tour Rankings, so that secured my status for next year,” said Sharvin, who was one-over and tied for 132nd after two days before launching a spirited fightback.
He followed a third round 66 with a four-under 68 on the Hills Course yesterday to sit just four shots outside the top 25, tied for 47th on eight-under.
”I’m happy after the start I made,” Sharvin said. “I was one over after two rounds and I had ten under in my head for the next two rounds. With a little bit of wind over the last two days, to shoot nine under was pretty nice.
“I’m 47th at the minute so just over 20 spots away from a card. A good two days and who knows, anything can happen in this game as we all know.
“It will be nice to press on now, post two low scores and see where that takes me over the next two days.”
Gavins leads by a shot on 20-under from France's Clement Sordet after carding a two under par 69 in rising winds.
But a host of big names missed the 280 cut, including former BMW PGA champion Matteo Manassero (287) and 2008 Irish Open champion Richard Finch (288).