Ronan Mullarney displayed all the calmness of a seasoned pro to safely pass his first assignment at European Tour Qualifying School in Bom Sucesso.
The Galway amateur, who picked up his first home championship this summer at the Irish Close Championship at Ballybunion, needed something in the red on Saturday to give himself a chance and he duly delivered, grinding out a one-under par 71 to capture a top-11 finish.
At times it was a struggle for the 24-year old Maynooth student, who dotted two bogeys and a double amongst his copybook, but five birdies were more than enough to see him through, a successful Italian job with all roads now leading to Stage Two in November.
“I was delighted to get through,” said Mullarney. “It was a good test; two of the days were quite calm and two of the days were windy – today was a tough day.
“We’re not so much at altitude here but we’re still fairly high up, beside the coast as well so there’s generally a wind. I played fairly well. I had a bit of a blip on the 18th on the second day [he ran up a quadruple bogey 8] but other than that I was fairly solid.
“I’m still not probably 100% happy with my game but I was happy with the way I managed it, I kept focussed quite well. I’d one of the lads caddying for me – Jake Whelan – he was a big help as well. It was a great experience playing with professionals so I’m delighted to qualify and happy enough.”
It was the end of the road for West Cliff’s Brendan McCarroll who posted a final round 74 for a seven-over par total in Italy.
Meanwhile in France, Killiney amateur Eoin Leonard (+6) and Stephen Grant (+9) missed the 54-hole cut on Friday as their hopes came to an end in Hardelot.
Full Scoring Italy HERE
Full Scoring France HERE