Dermot McElroy will head into the final round of the CPG Classic supporting England & Wales Blind Golf just one shot off the lead as he goes in search of his second PGA EuroPro Tour victory.
The Ballymena man fired five birdies – including three in a row on his back nine and one bogey a four-under 67 on day two – to reach 10-under-par, one shot back of leader Greg Dalziel.
The Airdrie man, who held a three-shot overnight lead, saw his advantage slashed to just a single stroke over McElroy and Machynys’ James Frazer after two late bogeys saw him card a two-under 69 to set the pace at 11-under.
Frazer was the best player of the second round, signing for six birdies in a bogey-free 65 that has him in a share of second place with McElroy heading into Friday’s third round on a packed leaderboard, with Gog Magog’s Paul Maddy one shot further back at nine-under.
This could be a pivotal tournament for McElroy as a win could all but wrap up playing rights on the Challenge Tour for next season, the 28-year-old currently eighth on the Order of Merit with the top-five earning promotion at the end of the year.
He’ll be joined in the final round by Tullamore’s Stuart Grehan and The K Club’s Conor O’Rourke, who will both start the third day at one-under after rounds of 73 and 72 respectively.
None of the other Irish players came close to making the level-par cut, however, with Wexford’s Rhys Clarke and Whitehead’s John-Ross Galbraith ending their tournaments at six-over as they struggled to rounds of 73 and 75 respectively.
Cork’s John Hickey ended his week eight-over after a 74 and PGA Catalunya’s Luke Donnelly was nine-over following a 75, with Limerick’s Tim Rice carding a second consecutive 76 to end the week 10-over.