Caldwell & Power improve but Irish struggling to make the grade

Ronan MacNamara

Mark Power (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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The first third of the Final Stage of DP World Tour Q-School makes for grim reading with none of the Irish sextet inside the top-25 and only one player under par through the opening 36 holes in Infinitum.

Jonathan Caldwell, who was five-over after six holes of round one has battled back excellently to lie on one-under-par after a second round of 68.

The Clandeboye man birdied three of his first eight holes on the Hills Course and bounced back from a double bogey on the ninth with a birdie on 12. A bogey on 14 was followed by a hat trick of birdies from the 15th as he kept his hopes alive.

Caldwell lies five shots outside the top-25.

Kilkenny’s Mark Power also improved from a disappointing four-over 76 with a much-needed 68 on the Lakes Course to rise to one-over-par, a shot behind Ruaidhri McGee who turned a good start into a disappointing 74.

K Club man Conor O’Rourke is on three-over while Dermot McElroy is plus four and Conor Purcell five-over.

Freddy Schott produced an outstanding back nine to sign for a bogey-free eight under par round of 63 to lead by one.

The German, starting on the tenth at the Lakes course, made the turn one under par before a six-hole stretch from the first saw him card five birdies and an eagle to reach 12 under par the week, one stroke ahead of Spaniard Sebastian Garcia in second.

Schott, who is looking to regain his DP World Tour playing privileges this week, believes putting was key to being seven under through six holes after the turn.

“I gave myself a test on hole 12, which was my third hole,” he said. “I hit a bad tee shot and played a poor chip but holed that putt which gave me a boost and I did well after that.

“I got off to a bit of a slow start and missed a few opportunities here and there, making one birdie on the front nine. Then starting the back nine on hole one, I had a great number for my sand wedge, and was able to hit it close to made birdie.

“From that point I putted well. It didn’t matter where I hit it, I just seemed to have straight putts. That went on until the fifth or sixth hole. I gave myself some good chances throughout the back nine. I couldn’t take them on the last three holes but I’m very happy with my round today.”

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