Pain in Spain for Craig Ross after brave bid

Craig Ross was foiled by a closing double bogey in his bid to secure a Challenge Tour card.
Craig Ross was foiled by a closing double bogey in his bid to secure a Challenge Tour card.
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Craig Ross came up agonisingly short in his bid to secure a Challenge Tour card for next season after producing a brave last-round performance in the PGA EuroPro Tour Championship in Spain.

Needing to jump from seventh spot into the top five on the money-list, the Kirkhill man gave himself a chance after covering the first tenholes at Desert Springs in three under to sit ten under.

However, he then followed seven straight pars with a closing double-bogey 6, signing for a 71 to finish joint ninth on eight under, eight shots behind Englishman Nick McCarthy as he closed with a 68 to claim a top prize worth £22,540 by three strokes.

Ross, who picked up £1,820 to stay in seventh spot with earnings of £17,078, has a second bite at the cherry in the European Tour Qualifying School, having progressed to next week’s second stage.

Daniel Young, who is also set to tackle that test, finished strongly in Spain, coming home in four-under 31 for a 67 to finish joint 16th on six under, a shot ahead of Paul McKechnie (73) while Paul O’Hara ended up 37th after the same closing score. Craig Lawrie and Ryan Campbell both signed off with 72s for 39th and 54th respectively.

Joining McCarthy in securing Challenge Tour step ups were four of his compatriots – Dave Coupland, Mark Young, Billy Spooner and Joe Dean, who climbed above Chris Gane at the death.

Elsewhere, the third round of the LPGA Q-Series was put back a day due to flooding at Pinehurst in North Carolina, where Gemma Dryburgh was sitting joint 23rd after the second of eight rounds. The Scot opened with scores of 71-76.