Cormac Sharvin was the story of moving day at the toughest examination in golf as he ticked all the right boxes to bolt into contention at El Encin Golf Hotel in Alcala De Henares.
The Ardglass professional fired himself 35 places up the leaderboard into a tie for 10th after returning a superb eight-under-par 64 on day three of Second Stage Q-School.
Sharvin posted a whopping nine birdies when it mattered most on day three with an expected 18 players to advance to final qualifying but he still found himself trailing Tramore’s Robin Dawson, however, who sets the pace from an Irish point of view on 12-under-par.
The rookie has been wonderfully consistent this week and his four-under 68 on moving day finds him in a share of 5th, just five shots off the lead.
That’s a pace that Old Conna’s Neil O’Briain has struggled to stay with but at five-under-par, he’s not without hope pending a huge final round. Last year’s Sunshine Coast Rookie of the Year improved with a three-under-par 69 that finds him in a tie for 37th but he’ll need much better to force himself into the final equation.
Meanwhile, at Almería, Dubliner Gavin Moynihan continued his rich vein of form to enter the Main Tour reckoning. After grabbing a top-10 finish at Valderrama a couple of weeks ago, Moynihan looked intent on prolonging the momentum and a five-under-par 67 in round three has moved him right into contention at minus-nine.
Now in a share of 16th spot, he’ll be hoping for more of the same to ensure his presence among the pretenders when the final stage kicks off at Lumine Golf Club from November 10-15.
In company with Moynihan at Almería, Jonathan Caldwell (-5), Gary Hurley (-3) and Kevin Phelan (-3) all have serious work to do to force themselves into the final examination.
The news looks bleaker still at Las Colinas Golf & Country Club in Alicante where Rosapenna’s Ruaidhri McGee looks to have played himself out of contention with a 74 on moving day. Currently at plus-four in a share of 61st spot, McGee found himself four shots better off than former Newlands man Cameron Raymond, but the latter still sees himself in a tie for 43rd at even par needing much better in round four.
While at Alenda Golf Club, Naas’ Conor O’Rourke will have to plan his future elsewhere after a third round 74 resigned him to a share of 66th spot on four-over-par.
It’s estimated that 18 players will progress from each of the four venues to the third and Final Stage. 108 holes at Lumine Golf Club will separate the men from the boys from November 10-15 at the most mentally draining of all golfing propositions.
156 players will play two rounds across both the Lakes and Hills courses and after four rounds, the leading 70 players and ties on the cut mark will advance to the final 36 holes.