Ronan Mullarney, Tom McKibbin, John Hickey and Luke Donnelly have joined last week’s qualifier Eoin Leonard in the Final Stage draw as they seek a top category membership on next season’s EuroPro Tour.
As the First Stage of Qualifying School came to a close across three UK venues on Thursday, a quartet of Irish raced to the clubhouse safe in the knowledge that they’d done enough to book their place at The Oxfordshire Golf, Hotel and Spa, and Studley Wood Golf Club next week.
The ever-consistent Ronan Mullarney was the standout qualifier at Donnington Grove where the Galway man posted a second successive one-under par 71 to coast into the final examination inside the top-5 qualifiers at two-under.
Meanwhile at The Players Club, teenager Tom McKibbin put on a fireworks display befitting of the Holywood talent’s billing to also book his place at Final Stage.
It’s unlikely that the young amateur would even consider turning pro should he win a card on the EuroPro but it’s stylish finishes like his eagle ‘2’ on 17 before a birdie on 18 that makes McKibbin such an exciting prospect.
In the end it was a pair of 70s for an even par 36-hole total for McKibbin, enough to qualify in a tie for 5th, just ahead of Kilkenny’s Luke Donnelly who added a 70 of his own to an opening 72 to breeze through at two-over.
With both Rhys Clarke and Dylan Brophy missing out, Irish attention turned to Luton Hoo Hotel where Cork’s John Hickey was in position after an opening three-under par effort to progress to Final Stage.
Indeed, it wasn’t an opportunity Hickey was going to let slip with a one-under par second round 72 completing a four-under 36-hole total, seeing him comfortably through to next week.
Players are competing to earn the highest possible category on the 2021 PGA EuroPro Tour. All those progressing to Final Stage will earn at least a category 14, with golfers making the Final Stage cut earning a minimum category 10 and the top 30 earning category 3.
Final Stage will be hosted across three days at Studley Wood Golf Club and The Oxfordshire Golf, Hotel and Spa, October 14-16.