The 2014 Amateur champion was among five Scots to come through the second stage in Spain, closing with a superb 66 to finish ninth out of the 18 qualifiers at Las Colinas.
“It was obviously a very tense and nerve-wracking week,” admitted Neil after making an eagle and five birdies in the best round of the day at the Alicante venue. “It’s my second time at Q School and it doesn’t get easier.
“The first three days were tough because I have put a lot of hard work in the past few months, prepared as best as possible and to have to grind out for a level par total wasn’t easy.
“I thought I had a good score in me and, thankfully, it came when I needed it most!”
The Blairgowrie man now moves on to Girona, where the six-round final stage starts on Saturday, along with David Law, Ross Kellett, Grant Forrest and Peter Whiteford.
“Catalunya is a tough place to do well at first time round, so fingers crossed, with the experience from last year, that we might achieve top 25,” added Neil.
“I’ve got my coach, Kevin Hale, coming out as well to caddie/help with prep. I can’t leave any stone unturned as its possibly toughest final stage ever with the quality of players there next week.”
Marc Warren needs to climb five spots in Race to Dubai in the Nedbank Challenge to get into next week’s DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
With American Patrick Reed having come off the list due to the fact he’s not going to meet the membership criteria, Warren is sitting 65th in the rankings and needs to get into the top 60 come Sunday night.
Richie Ramsay and David Drysdsale, the two other Scots in the field for the Sun City event starting on Thursday, are 65th and 82nd but also still have a great chance of making it to Dubai with another £5.7 million prize pot up on offer this week.
Martin Laird has jumped four spots to 134th in the world rankings after his top-30 finish in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas.
Russell Knox, who had a week off but returns to action in Mexico this week, retained 19th spot.
David Drysdale jumped up to 385th from 431st on the back of his top-15 finish in the Turkish Airlines Open in Belek.
From the Final Series to Fraserburgh!
That’s the scenario on the cards for Paul Lawrie tomorrow, when he tees up in the North-East Alliance just a few days after seeing his 2016 European Tour campaign come to an end in Turkey.
“People kinda laugh at me, but I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “After finishing fifth in Portugal recenrtly, I then played in the Allliance at Montrose and won it and now I’ll be trying my hardest to do the same at Fraserburgh on Wednesday.
“I hadn’t played in them for years, then last year I played in nearly every one. It’s back to your assistant pro days. I couldn’t wait for a Wednesday to come round as it got you of the shop.
“I kinda feel it again. I cannae wait to Wednesday. 9.54 on the tee in a howling gale and freezing cold!”
Jay Monahan is set to take over from Tim Finchem as the PGA Tour’s commissioner on January 1.
Monahan’s step up from deputy commissioner has been rubber-stamped by the US Tour’s board.
Finchem is stepping down after serving more than 22 years as the circuit’s third commissioner. He succeeded Deane Beman on 1 June, 1994.
Monahan joined the PGA Tour in 2008, serving as deputy commissioner for the past two years.
Grantown-on-Spey’s Gordon Hay ended a six-year drought on the North Scottish Golfers’Alliance circuit by winning at Forres with a four-under-par 66.
Tartan Tour start Paul O’Hara won the Ayrshire Winter Alliance event at Western Gailes by four shots from Stephen Gray with a 66.