Tramore’s Robin Dawson fired a four-under-par 68 to edge a step closer to bidding for his European Tour card at next week’s Final Stage of the European Tour Qualifying School.
Now a professional, this year’s Irish Amateur Open champion (21) is tied for fifth place on 12-under in his Second Stage Qualifier at El Encín Golf Hotel near Madrid and just five shots behind Argentina’s Jorge Fernandez Valdes heading into Monday’s fourth and final round.
Around 20 players will progress from each of the four Second Stage venues to next week’s Final Stage at Lumine Golf Club in Tarragona, where the top 70 and ties who make the 72-hole cut and are guaranteed Challenge Tour cards with the top 25 and ties after a further two rounds awarded European Tour status.
Dawson, who was exempt into the Second Stage after breaking into the top 10 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking this summer, is well-placed to make it to Tarragona having made an eagle, four birdies and two bogeys in his 68 to move four places up the leaderboard.
But it was also a memorable day for Ardglass’ Cormac Sharvin, who is a shot further back in tied 10th on 11-under after he made nine birdies in a stunning, eight-under 64 yesterday.
Old Conna’s Neil O’Briain shot a 69 at the Madrid venue to lie tied for 38th, five shots outside the projected qualifying mark on five-under par, and may need an even better final round to progress.
There was better news for Mount Juliet’s Gavin Moynihan at Desert Springs in Almeria, where he posted a five-under 67 to share 16th place on nine-under par, leaving him just inside the qualifying mark.
Clandeboye’s Jonny Caldwell is tied for 30th on five-under after a 70 but West Waterford’s Gary Hurley finished with two bogeys for a one-over 73 and lies five shots outside the qualifying spots on three-under-par, tied for 40th with Waterford Castle’s Kevin Phelan, who shot an impressive, seven-under 65 yesterday.
A former Walker Cup player, Phelan (27) looked out of the running when he went into the third round tied for 59th. But he made seven birdies in a bogey-free effort to move up to tied 40th and will feel he can repeat the trick and qualify.
At Las Colinas Golf & Country Club in Alicante, former Newlands’ player Cameron Raymond is 43rd on level par after a fine 68 with Derry’s Ruaidhri McGee 61st on four-over after a 74 at a venue where the top 20 are five-under or better.
Meanwhile, Naas’ Conor O’Rourke is 66th on four-over at Alenda Golf in Alicante and ten strokes outside the top 20.
European Tour Qualifying School — Second Qualifying Stage
Las Colinas Golf & Country Club, Alicante, Spain (Par 71)
T43 Cameron RAYMOND 74 70 68 Even
T61 Ruaidhri MCGEE 71 72 68 74 +4
Alenda Golf, Alicante, Spain (Par 72)
66 Conor O'ROURKE Naas 72 74 74 +4
Desert Springs, Almería, Spain (Par 72)
T16 Gavin MOYNIHAN Mount Juliet Estate 70 70 67 -9
T30 Jonathan CALDWELL Clandeboye GC 74 67 70 -5
T40 Kevin PHELAN Waterford Castle 75 73 65 -3
T40 Gary HURLEY West Waterford GC 67 73 73 -3
WD Luke DONNELLY Mount Juliet Estate
El Encin Golf Hotel, Alcala de Henares, Madrid, Spain (Par 72)
T5 Robin DAWSON Tramore GC 70 66 68 -12
T10 Cormac SHARVIN Ardglass GC 68 73 64 -11
T37 Neil O'BRIAIN Old Conna GC 70 72 69 -5