Gary Hurley is just two shots off the lead after 36 holes of the Final Stage of DP World Tour School in Tarragona.
Hurley roared out of the traps with four successive birdies which paved the way for a six-under 65 on the Lakes Course as he moved up 25 places into fifth on eight-under, with four-time DP World Tour winner Kiradech Aphibarnrat leading the way on –10.
“Six under anywhere is pretty good. Got off to a fast start with birdies on the first four holes. I was strong, strong in my engagement, yeah I was happy with how I played,” said Hurley who also posted birdies on the ninth, thirteenth and sixteenth holes.
“The other course is very tight off the tee, yesterday the front nine wasn’t windy but the back nine was really gusty, here is a bit more open, more drivers yeah that’s the main difference.
“More of the same going forward. For me it doesn’t really matter the scores I shot today or yesterday, just got to prepare for tomorrow the way I have been all year. Make sure I’m ready to deal with what happens, I’m not concerned about the future I just want to prepare for tomorrow,” added the West Waterford native.
It’s been a season of redemption for the 29-year-old who is already guaranteed a Challenge Tour card having finished in the top-5 on the Alps Tour Order of Merit.
Expectations have been high for Hurley ever since he was part of the ‘Famous Five’ Irish contingent on the 2015 GB&I Walker Cup team and he is in a great position to secure a double promotion come Wednesday evening.
Mentally Hurley is in a great place and he isn’t fazed by permutations and what ifs.
“It would be great [to secure a DP World Tour card]. I’m trying not to be too concerned with the outcomes and the what ifs and what’s happening. The commitment to what I’ve been doing mentally will have its biggest test because everything feels so final this year. I’m trying to stay in the process and be curious about what that brings. Good or bad isn’t important as long as I’m true to myself.”
Kinsale’s John Murphy also did his DP World Tour card hopes no harm as three late birdies saw him move into 13th place on six-under-par.
Clandeboye’s Jonathan Caldwell also put on a late, late show of his own with three birdies in his final four holes on the Hills Course to move to three-under with a round of 69.
The 38-year-old is 43rd on the leaderboard as he looks to break into the top-25 and earn a swift return to Europe’s top-tier.
Meanwhile Cormac Sharvin and Paul Dunne have work to do to just make the cut from one and three-over respectively.