Before a ball was hit, both Gavin Moynihan and Cormac Sharvin knew what to expect from the hell fire of Final Stage European Qualifying School golf. With a round to go, both competitors have acquitted themselves well enough to think such a test will be a thing of the past should their game travel with them during the final round.
Having both secured Challenge Tour status next season after an encouraging start to Q-School that saw them progress through 72-holes to
the last two rounds, both Moynihan and Sharvin looked dissatisfied with their 2019 status despite fruitful moves in their final round.
Moynihan’s bogey-free five-under-par 66 was sublime, boosting the Mount Juliet pro to a share of 15th spot on 16-under-par but the Dubliner will know that a similar display is needed in round six to ultimately secure his main tour status.
Meanwhile, Sharvin fired a 66 of his own to move himself within a few shots of contention on 13-under-par.
After two days, the 26-year-old sat in 132nd place on one-over-par, but after a third round of 66 and a fourth round of 68, he safely made it through to the final two days after moving up 85 places in the standings.
“I’m 2 shots outside of the top 25, so I’ve put myself into a good position to get into tomorrow, which was my real goal today, to put myself in a good position for tomorrow and I’ve done that, so we’ll keep doing that and hopefully that’s going to be enough,” said Sharvin.
“I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing, I’ve said it all week, that I’m trying to put my full focus on every shot, and give every shot my full commitment and hopefully that adds up to enough to make it through,” added the Ulsterman.
He’ll need another steep improvement to make an impression in the final round but the top-25 remains within reach for Sharvin despite the finality of the opportunity.
Meanwhile, where Moynihan and Sharvin thrived, Tramore’s Robin Dawson dropped out of the reckoning after carding a penultimate three-over-par 74.
At the top, Kurt Kitayama, Romain Langasque and Zander Lombard lead the way at European Tour Qualifying School Final Stage after Day Five, which saw several players make crucial moves into the all-important top 25.
Lombard, who began the day in a tie for tenth place on 14-under-par, dropped a shot on his opening hole but rebounded with a birdie on the next and seven more as he marched towards a seven under par 64 and a share of the lead.
France’s Langasque, who came close to earning his European Tour card through the Challenge Tour this year, kept his scorecard clean all the way around the Lakes Course at Lumine Golf Club, and now with only one round to go, appears poised to make a return to Europe’s top tier.
Kitayama will be in hot pursuit of his second Q-School win this year after topping the field at First Stage in France a month ago, and since then the American has been remarkably consistent, only carding three rounds in the 70s across the 13 Q-School rounds he has played thus far.
With the decisive final round of the marathon Q-School looming, Scotland’s Marc Warren has positioned himself in a familiar spot following a five-under-par round of 66, but sitting one shot outside the top 25, he will need to continue to score well if he is to return to the European Tour.
Anders Hansen, the oldest player in the Final Stage field, is proving the value of experience. Following a frustrating fourth round yesterday, the 48-year-old hit the range for an extended practice session at a time when peers 20 years his junior were resting.
The Dane found what he was looking for, and his six-under-par 65 has placed him in a tie for 15thplace.