Of the eleven Irish sitting the most demanding test in golf, just three came out alive after the Second Stage of European Tour Q School in Spain.
The big winners were Ardglass’ Cormac Sharvin, Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy and Rosapenna’s Ruaidhri McGee who all forged their own path in booking their place in next week’s Final Stage at Lumine Golf Club.
At Desert Springs Golf Club in Almeira, Sharvin was a relentless in his determination to make it and blitzed the field with nine birdies on his way to a stunning 64. The eight under par total, a record equalling round as a professional for Cormac, moved him up 25 places into a tie for 7th, seeing him comfortably through to next week.
Jonathan Caldwell was desperately unlucky to miss out by one shot after a final day 68, while Niall Kearney withdrew after round three, his race well run.
At Campo de Golf El Salar, Ballymena’s McElroy qualified in a tie for 13th despite a final day 74. He finished on level par, the same score Brendan McCarroll started his final round on – a six over par 78 putting paid to his chances.
Rosapenna’s Ruaidhri McGee took the bull by the horns at Panoramica Golf & Sport Resort, Castellón, firing a 71 to compliment his consistent low scoring all week. He eventually finished on 12 under par, sauntering through to Final Stage.
West Waterford’s Gary Hurley shot a two under round of 70 but his day three 74 was his ultimate undoing, Gary missing out by a single shot in the end. While Castleknock’s David Carey failed to fire, ending his bid with a disappointing 77.
There was no joy for the Irish hopefuls at Las Colinas with Knock’s Colin Fairweather coming closest, two shots outside the places on two under par. Michael Hoey finished on three over par while John Ross Galbraith, who was best of the Irish on the first day with a 68, eventually finished on 11 over par.
In all, 86 players advance to have the chance to secure the golden ticket at Final Stage next week. There’ll be some added Irish interest in the mix too with the likes of Gavin Moynihan taking his place in the competitive field. Let’s just hope there’ll be reason to cheer after the six round slog is all said and done for our European Tour pretenders.