A POSSE of Scots are still in with a shout heading into today’s final round of the European Tour Qualifying School’s second stage, with six more rounds to come at the end of the month for those who are successful in southern Spain today.
Encouragingly, the saltire was prominent on the leaderboard at all four venues after 54 holes, with the challenge for spots in that final stage in Girona being led by Jamie McLeary, Wallace Booth, Callum Macaulay and Steven O’Hara.
Playing at El Saler, a renowned tough track near Valencia, McLeary made his move with a five-under-par 67, the former Scottish Challenge winner having got it to seven-under after 13 holes before letting a couple of shots slip away. Nonetheless, it was a splendid effort from the Fifer and put him in a tie for fifth there on 212, four-under.
Booth is also on course to progress after he signed for a 68 at Las Colinas, where the Perthshire player is sitting in a share of sixth on 206, seven-under. Among those sitting ahead of him at that venue is Dan Huizing, the young Dutchman who recorded runaway wins in both the Lytham Trophy and St Andrews Links Trophy earlier this year.
Macaulay kept his hopes of progressing alive with a 67 at El Valle, putting him in a tie for fifth on 208, five-under, but David Law’s hopes suffered a dent there as a 76, which included a triple-bogey 7 at the eighth, dropped him into a share of 37th alongside Michael Stewart (70). Dunbar’s Neil Fenwick is just ahead of his two compatriots after a second successive 68.
O’Hara, the player with the most European Tour experience amongst the 15 Scottish hopefuls this week, signed for a 68 to stay in contention at Lumine Golf, where he is sitting tied for tenth on six-under 207, one ahead of Jack Doherty. The leading 19 qualify at Las Colinas, with one spot less up for grabs elsewhere.