Byrne fires 66 to boost Q-School bid

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JAMES Byrne’s bid to pass the first stage of the European Tour Qualifying School came alive in spectacular fashion in the third round at The Roxburghe, near Kelso.

Struggling to survive the 54-hole cut after opening rounds of 77 and 75, the 2011 Walker Cup player from Banchory found his form in the nick of time with a six-under-par 66. His effort – the best of the day – featured an eagle and six birdies and lifted him into a tie for 22nd and one shot off a qualifying spot heading into today’s final round.

As Swede Philip Eriksson was joined in a share of the lead by Englishman Jamie Moul on seven-under – Edinburgh-based Gareth Wright is two shots behind them in joint-third – five of Byrne’s compatriots are sitting in the qualifying zone.

Baberton’s Paul Ferrier and Fifer James White are tied for sixth on two-under after they shot 74s. Aberdour’s Scott Crichton is joint-11th on level-par following a 73, with Steven O’Hara and Glenbervie’s Graeme Robertson both just inside the cut-off mark on one-over after carding 71 and 72 respectively.

The leading 17 and ties at the end of four rounds will go forward to a second four-round stage in Spain in November.