Craig Ross steps up bid for Challenge Tour card with 65

Craig Ross is bidding for a Challenge Tour card.
Craig Ross is bidding for a Challenge Tour card.
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Craig Ross stepped up his bid to clinch a Challenge Tour card for next season by equalling the second lowest score of the day in the second round of the PGA EuroPro Tour Championship at Desert Springs in Spain.

Needing to jump from seventh on the third-tier circuit’s money list into the top five to secure a step up, the diminutive Kirkhill player stormed home in 29 to card a timely 
seven-under-par 65 at the Almeria venue.

Ross, who started the 54-hole season finale less than £1,700 outside the card zone, heads into the closing circuit sitting joint 11th, six off the lead but two shots in front of Englishman Chris Gane, the player he is trying to catch on the Order of Merit.

After following an eagle at the third with a birdie at the next, Ross, pictured, would have been disappointed to turn in one under but the former South African Amateur champion transformed his day with a burst of five straight birdies from the 11th before adding another one at the 17th.

Paul McKechnie fired eight birdies as he posted an equally impressive 66 to sit joint 14th on six under, five ahead of both Daniel Young (71) and Paul O’Hara, who saw his card hopes dashed by three bogeys in a row around the turn in a 73. Craig Lawrie (72) is joint-42nd and Ryan Campbell (75) sits 58th.

Elsewhere, Gemma Dryburgh was among the later starters in the second round of the LPGA Q-Series, which is being staged over eight rounds split over two weeks in North Carolina.

The 25-year-old Aberdonian, who is bidding to win back the card she secured 12 months ago under the old format in Florida, started the day three shots off the lead after opening with a 71 on the No 6 course at Pinehurst.

Meanwhile, Alford’s Laura Murray carded scores of 70 and 67 for a seven-under-par total to claim a one-shot win in the Santander Golf Tour Caceres event at Nobra Club de Golf in Spain. The former Scottish champion made her second-round score by covering the opening 10 holes in five under par.