Gavin Moynihan remains on course for a European Tour card despite a dip in his scoring on day three of Qualifying School Final Stage in Spain.
The Mount Juliet professional, who has shown no ill-effects from a back scare in practice prior to the tournament, returned a one-under-par 71 this afternoon to consolidate his position inside the top-20.
Currently in a share of 19th spot on 10-under-par, Moynihan ground out eleven straight pars today before his round came to life with an eagle two on the par-4 12th. The elation was short-lived however, as he immediately gave the two shots back with a double bogey on 13.
Another bogey on 15 threatened to sour his clubhouse dinner but the Dubliner hung tough, picking up birdies at 16 and 17 to finish with a flourish on the Hills layout.
A cut to the top-70 and ties will take place tomorrow and as it stands, both Cormac Sharvin and Robin Dawson will fall short of the required mark.
However it proved to be an encouraging day for the pair, with Sharvin in particular finally getting the most out of his game with a superb 66 around the Lakes Course.
Seven birdies for the Ardglass pro has seen him rise to a share of 76th spot on four-under-par and he’ll be needing more of the same tomorrow to ensure his presence for the final two days’ play.
Alongside him at minus-four sits Tramore’s Robin Dawson who looks to be coming into his own as the week progresses.
Dawson signed off on a blemish-free three-under-par 68 with the rookie hoping to add his name to the run sheet ahead of the final 36 obstacles at golf’s toughest testing ground.
Daniel Gavins fired a six-under-par 66 during the third round to move two ahead of the rest of the field at the halfway point of the competition.
During another day of exceptional scoring at Lumine Golf Club, it was Gavins who rose highest, carding two eagles and four birdies for his third consecutive round in the 60s and an 18-under-par total.
The Englishman, who successfully navigated his way through all three stages of Q-School in 2015, was happy with his three days’ work but admits he can’t get complacent with 54-holes left of an event where the top-25 and ties earn European Tour cards at the end of the week.
“I’m very pleased,” said the 27-year-old, who competed on the Hills Course today. “It was a tough day, so it was just a case of staying patient and attack when I need to.
“I’m playing pretty consistently at the minute, have holed some putts and I have just got to keep going and scoring well.
“The two eagles were the highlight from today – especially when I holed a bunker shot on the 11th.
“It’s been pretty good so far. I’ve played on the EuroPro Tour this year and have been pretty consistent on there but didn’t hole a great deal of putts so it was nice to come and hole a few so far this week.
“It’s been a tough few years since playing on the European Tour in 2016, so it would be nice and it would mean a lot to get back there.”
Two shots back from Gavins are a group of three players including Spain’s David Borda, Germany’s Christian Braeunig and France’s Clément Sordet.
Of that trio it was Sordet who made the biggest move in Tarragona after a sublime nine under par score of 63 at the Hills Course – the lowest round on that course so far in this year’s Final Stage.
“I played really well,” said Sordet, who graduated to the European Tour via the Challenge Tour in 2017.
“I started with two lip-outs and then managed to make a lot of birdies and holed a wedge shot on the sixth and was six under through eight. Then on the back nine I missed a short putt for par on 12, but managed to stay focused and then finished really well.
“We’re only halfway through and nothing is done, so I’m just going to take it one shot at a time and then we’ll see at the end.”
Also impressing on Day Three in southern Spain was former Amateur Champion Scott Gregory and European Tour winners Marcel Siem and Alejandro Cañizares.
England’s Gregory equaled the low round of the week with a stunning nine-under-par 62 on the Lakes Course, while Germany’s Siem and Spain’s Cañizares – who have both triumphed multiple times on Europe’s top tier – both recorded eight-under-par scores to move into the top-10.
Following the conclusion of tomorrow’s fourth round the 156-player field will be reduced to the top-70 and ties, who will then battle it out for a place in the top-25 which will see them earn a European Tour card.