Damian Mooney edged a little closer to a potential Staysure Tour card after carding a two-under par 69 on moving day at Qualifying School Final Stage.
Looking to time his run perfectly into the top-5 places after Thursday’s final round in Portugal, Mooney fired four birdies in his best showing of the week so far to move to three-under par through 54-holes, three shots outside the current automatic qualifying spots.
Meanwhile Kilkenny’s Jimmy Bolger, who looked dead and buried after a disastrous seven-over par round of 78 on day one, shot the lights out on Wednesday with a four-under par 67 to claw his way inside the cut mark.
Needing to be within eight shots of the last qualification spot at day’s end, Bolger found five birdies when they were badly needed to move to one-over par, keeping his faint hopes alive in the race for a 2020 Staysure Tour card where tied 4th is currently six-under par.
It was the end of the road, however, for Headfort’s Brendan McGovern whose third round 75 saw him drop to nine-over par.
David Morland IV is back on top of a Staysure Tour Qualifying School leaderboard and takes a one-shot lead into the last round at Pestana Golf Resort.
The Canadian, who won First Stage at Gramacho Golf Course last week, sits on ten under par following rounds of 66-70-67 and is aiming to collect his second consecutive victory to complete the task of securing one of five Staysure Tour cards available.
“I’ve been playing well for a while now,” he said. “I’m not getting ahead of myself. I’m just taking it one shot at a time and putting well, so I’ve just got to keep going.
“It’s the old cliché of taking it shot by shot until the 72nd hole and then you add them up when you’re done. It was nice to play a solid round today and I look forward to tomorrow.”
The former PGA Tour player is making his second appearance at Final Stage after narrowly missing out on a card in 2019 and knows the importance of trusting the work he has been putting into his game.
“I do my prep work prior to the tournament, so at this point it’s more about conserving energy, staying rested for tomorrow and being ready to go,” he said.
Kiwi Michael Long sits alone in second place on nine under par following his third consecutive sub-70 round, while Scottish amateur Euan McIntosh occupies third place on eight under par.
Another amateur, Englishman Mark Young is joined by three of his countrymen — Mark Wharton, Andrew Raitt and Gary Marks – in a share of fourth place on six under par.
Of the quartet, it was Wharton who stole the show on moving day by converting nine birdies – including five in a row to start the back nine – and an eagle to card his lowest round as a professional, an eight under par 63. The effort moved him 30 places up the leaderboard and has put a Staysure Tour return in sight.
The field has been cut to only those players within eight shots of the last qualification spot, meaning that 39 players on two over par or better will play tomorrow’s final round.
If there is a tie for the fifth and final card at the end of 72 holes, the deadlock will be broken by a hole-by-hole play-off.
The last round of Staysure Tour Qualifying School begins tomorrow at 9:00 am local time while the final group of Morland IV, Long and McIntosh is set to go at 9:50 am.
Full scoring HERE