Brendan McCarroll and Brian Casey share a tie for fourth with a round to go at the HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour PDC Golf Championship.
The pair lie on 10-under-par, just a shot behind second spot but a full six adrift of runaway leader, Scott Fallon at Studley Wood Golf Club, Oxfordshire.
Team Ireland’s Casey, who finished in a tie for third last week after an explosive final round 63 at the Matchroom Sport Challenge, was just as impressive today in firing an eight-under-par 65 to cut through the field.
The former Mullingar Scratch Trophy winner flew home in 30 strokes, bogey-free and will be looking to reproduce the fireworks tomorrow to mount a title winning challenge.
West Cliff’s McCarroll meanwhile signed for his second successive 68, finishing with two birdies on the spin to set himself up nicely to pounce on any potential stumbles by Fuller out in front tomorrow.
The cut mark ahead of the final round fell at five-under par or better; setting a record for the lowest cut ever made at a PGA EuroPro Tour event, but unfortunately that was one shot too many for Niall Kearney. The Royal Dublin man would have been disappointed to bogey three of his last four holes but no doubt better days like in wait for the experienced Dubliner.
Mount Juliet’s Luke Donnelly, Moyola Park’s Chris Selfridge, Woodcote Park’s Peter Williamson, North West’s Brian McElhinney, Waterford’s Kevin Phelan, Limerick’s Tim Rice and Royal County Down’s Reeve Whitson were the other Irish who fell short of the mark.
It’s all about Englishman Fallon at the top of the leaderboard after he flew out of the blocks in his second round, carding seven birdies on his front nine alone, before collecting another three on the back nine with just one bogey to his name to finish on nine-under par for the day.
Speaking after his round, he said: “Yesterday I played solid, and today it just seemed to get going again. I was hitting close on the front nine and taking the few opportunities I had from 20 feet.”
It was an electrifying pace set by the 29-year old, who is still in search of his first HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour title. And after 12 holes, Fallon found himself with a very realistic chance of collecting the coveted £59,000 bonus for a 59 round.
Unfortunately for Fallon, the birdies dried up somewhat and a bogey on 17 was the final nail in the coffin.
He said: “It felt like I was making too many pars on the back nine, and was wondering to myself what was going on, but I’m still really pleased with my performance.”
Fallon’s form over 27 holes was frightening, making better than a birdie every other hole. On his birdie-rout he said: “Myself and Robert Laskey practice on a par-3 course a lot, where we try and get to 10-under par, so making a lot of birdies has become quite natural and I think that really helped me today.”
Fallon’s effort was made even more impressive by the fact he picked up a back injury after just three holes. He said: “I just felt something go after the third hole, and for the next eight holes I had to play without a practice swing. But, beware the injured golfer, it seemed to really help and I guess it took my mind of the task at hand because all I was thinking of was my back. I’m going to see a specialist tonight so hopefully they can work their magic ahead of tomorrow.”
James Simpson (Whickham Golf Club) and Nick Watson (Stoke Rochford Golf Club) are Fallon’s closest rivals who both share second place on eleven-under par, but the title very much is Fallon’s to lose now.
Spectator entry is free throughout and live scoring can be found at europrotour.com.