Ronan Mullarney and Joseph Hanney will both be hoping for a strong final round at the Alps de Andalucía 2023 event as Isla Canela Links in southern Spain after rounds of 70 and 69 respectively.
Mullarney, who lies second in the Alps Tour’s Order of Merit, hasn’t had his best this week, but it’s testament to the consistency that he’s missed just one cut in the seven Alps Tour events to date, posting four top-10 finishes including a win, and after an opening 69, three birdies with just the one bogey saw him reach the clubhouse at -5, tied for 22nd and seven off the lead.
Hanney, who turned professional last year, is making just his second Alps Tour start after earning category eight status at Alps Tour Q-School last November, and knew he’d need to shoot several strokes under par if he was to make his first cut after an opening round of level par.
Starting on the back nine, he’d birdie three of the opening six holes to put himself in prime position, but three fives in succession – two for bogey and one for par – took most of the gloss off the bright start. Three pars to start the front side did little to help his cause, but a birdie three at the fourth gave him a fighting chance and three more pars saw him reach the par-5 eighth needing to cover the final two holes in -1 to earn a weekend tee time.
He’d do exactly that with a brace of fours and he’ll now be hoping to put a good final round together as he’ll secure his first world ranking points and a first paycheck on the Alps Tour.
Who is going to win is anybody’s guess, with 13 players within four strokes of the lead which is held by Holland’s Lars Keunen and Frenchman Benjamin Kedochim at -12. They enjoy a one-stroke lead over Spains Quim Vidal, who lies fifth in the Order of Merit, with a further three Spaniards tied for fourth a stroke further adrift.