Carey edging closer to Challenge Tour promotion at Alps Final

Adam McKendry
|
|
Carey edging closer to Challenge Tour promotion at Alps Final

David Carey (Photo by Luke Walker/Getty Images)

David Carey is well-placed to earn himself a Challenge Tour card for next season as a birdie-eagle finish helped him move into second place with one round to play at the Alps Tour Grand Final, two off the lead in Italy.

The Castleknock man shot a second consecutive five-under 67 at Modena Country Club to move onto 10-under, backed by his superb closing stretch, a couple of strokes back of leader Victor Garcia Broto and firmly into the mix for automatic promotion to the second-tier next year.

Currently 15th in the Alps Tour’s Order of Merit, Carey needs to break into the top-10 in order to earn himself an exemption through the Second Stage of Challenge Tour Q-School, which would also earn him a small handful of Challenge Tour starts next year.

But he will have his sights set higher, however, and a win in Italy would be enough to get him into the top-five in the Order of Merit and allow him to skip Q-School and earn full Challenge Tour membership next season.

Carey is well placed to do just that as he sits tied-second alongside home hopeful Carlo Casalegno with one round to play in Modena, with Garcia Broto – another who could earn his Challenge Tour card this week – two ahead at 12-under.

The Irishman’s challenge had looked to have faded somewhat after bogeys at the fourth and eighth undid birdies at the first and seventh, which had him level-par at the turn and falling off the lead, but it was a superb back nine that turned things around.

Birdies dropped on the 13th and 14th which picked up some momentum before a sparkling finish saw him birdie the 17th and then eagle the par-five 18th to move him right into contention to assault the leader in Saturday’s final round.

Ahead of him, Spaniard Garcia Broto backed up a stunning 64 in Thursday’s opening round with a 68 that included five birdies and a bogey on Friday to open up a slender advantage, while Casalegno also impressed with a bogey-free 66 on day two.

Also working in Carey’s favour is that French amateur Paul Margolis, who is fifth in the Order of Merit, is down in 20th at four-under following a 68, while Scotland’s Ryan Lumsden and Spain’s Angel Hidalgo Portillo are not competing despite being in the top-three.

Italy’s Jacopo Vecchi Fossa, who is already secure in the knowledge he has won the Order of Merit already, is tied-eighth at six-under after a second round 67.

It was an excellent day for another of the Irishmen in the field as Naas’ Jonathan Yates went low with a 65 to take him up to a share of sixth at eight-under, while West Waterford’s Gary Hurley carded a 69 to sit tied-22nd at three-under.

At 42nd in the overall rankings, Yates would likely need a spectacular come-from-behind win to stand any chance of breaking into the top-10 in the Order of Merit just to get that exemption into the Final Stage of Q-School, but that will be a strong incentive nonetheless.

Overnight leader Gregorio de Leo had a disappointing second round, a one-under 71 dropping him down into a tie for fourth at nine-under alongside fellow Italian Alessandro Tadini, followed closely by Yates and Andrea Saracino one shot further back.

Stay ahead of the game. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest Irish Golfer news straight to your inbox!

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy & Terms of Service apply.

Latest Stories

Feature Interviews