As all eyes remained firmly fixed on Le Golf National, Gary Hurley went about his business with supreme confidence to advance to Stage Two Q-School in top spot at Frilford Heath.
The West Waterford professional had been pointing the way from an Irish perspective all week and capped off a great start to his qualifying campaign with a three-under-par 69 to claim top honours by three shots on nine-under-par.
It’s a great boost for Hurley who endured a tough Challenge Tour campaign this term and he’ll now be hoping to use this momentum to turn his season’s fortunes around at the most opportune moment.
And he has fellow Deise man, Kevin Phelan for company too after he qualified in a share of 6th spot of the 27 who qualified from England today.
Phelan carded four birdies on his way to a five-under-par total and like Hurley, he’ll be hoping to put an otherwise disappointing year behind him with a late season flourish.
Where Hurley and Phelan excelled at Frilford, unfortunately it’s the end of the road for Whitehead’s John Ross Galbraith (+3) and Team Ireland’s Brian Casey (+7) who fell well short of the qualifying mark of minus-one.
But the good news didn’t end there for Ireland’s hopefuls because meanwhile in the beautiful scoring conditions of Bogogno, Ireland’s sole representative, Cameron Raymond blasted his way to Stage Two with some wonderful scoring of his own.
The former Newlands man fired a blemish-free five-under-par round of 67 when it mattered most to saunter through in a share of 13th spot on 11-under-par. Awesome stuff!