Brendan McCarroll ignited the fairways at Ribagolfe in Portugal when it mattered most to fire himself into November’s Second Stage of the European Tour Qualifying School.
McCarroll punished the course with eight birdies in a blemish-free 64 to cruise through the First Stage with plenty to spare.
For the Nairn and Portnoo man McCarroll, he went into the final round with plenty to do. Three shots outside of the magic number, he blitzed his way up the leaderboard into a tie 9th, shooting the second best score of the day in the process.
He wasn’t the only Irishman smiling as David Carey posted a brave 68 to also qualify. Going into the final day two shots outside the mark in 27th place, Carey made six birdies to blast his way to second stage.
Unfortunately there was no luck for Tramore’s Robin Dawson who limped out at stage one with a disappointing 73 that left him four shots shy of progress, while Tim Rice (40th) and Cian McNamara (44th) both missed out on the top-21 in France.
Twenty four contenders qualified in all in Lisbon, most notably, Spain’s Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez on an eye opening 21-under par, while England’s Walker Cup star Jack Singh Brar and British Open silver medallist Alfie Plant also qualified comfortably.