Stuart Easton secures Alps Tour card as Liam Johnston starts well in DP World Tour Q-School

Stuart Easton was thrilled to “secure a job for next season” on the Alps Tour as Liam Johnston and Michael Stewart made the best starts among the Scots aiming to do likewise on the DP World Tour.

It was mission accomplished for Easton at the Alps Tour Qualifying School as the Ayrshireman signed off with a three-under 69 at Golf Nazionale in Rome to claim third spot behind Dutch amateur Lars Van der Vight and Irishman Robin Dawson.

Easton, who finished with a seven-under 210 total after a closing effort that contained four birdies and one bogey, has secured a full playing card for the third-tier circuit next season and is delighted about that prospect.

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“It was nice to know ahead of today’s round that my job here was done so I could play more at ease,” he said of having comfortably survived a 36-hole cut, which saw both Darren Howie and Sam Mukherjee make an early exit.

Liam Johnston talks tactics en route to a solid start in the Dp World Tour Qualifying School Final on the Lakes Course at Infinitum in Tarragona. Picture: Angel Martinez/Getty Images.
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“After nine holes, I was relieved when I realised that the job was officially done and I have a job for next season. I didn’t have a great year this year, so now it’s great I have a full category and I can plan my year.”

Banff’s Callum Bruce, who had entered as an amateur, also secured a full card through finishing in a tie for 30th on one-over, but Connor Moghan had to settle for partial playing rights as he ended up joint-45th on three-over.

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In Spain, Johnston opened with a bogey-free three-under 68 on the Lakes Course at Infinitum in Tarragona to sit handily-placed after the opening day of the DP World Tour Qualifying School.

Taking up where he left off when progressing from last week’s second stage, the Dumfries man birdied the tenth, 16th and 18th to lie just three shots off the early lead in the six-round marathon.

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Irvine man Stuart Easton finished third in the Alps Tour Qualifying School in Rome.

As Swede Simon Forsstrom and Dutchman Dario Antonisse set the pace, it was also a good day’s work from Stewart as he recovered from a bogey-bogey start to sign for a one-under 70 on the Lakes Course, where he eagled the par-5 18th.

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“Yeah, relatively solid,” said the Ayrshireman of his effort. “I got off to a poor start but then settled down, hit a lot of good shots and gave myself lots of chances.”

In testing conditions, Craig Howie carded a one-over 73 on the Lakes layout, where Craig Ross had to settle for a 76, while Stephen Gallacher opened with a two-over 73 on the Hills Course.

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Meanwhile, Luke Donald and Ryan Fox were two shots ahead of the chasing pack on eight-under when round two of the Nedbank Golf Challenge was halted due to inclement weather at Sun City in South Africa.

The leading duo had only completed three holes when play was initially halted at 11.49am due to thunder and lightning being in the immediate vicinity of Gary Player Country Club. When the lightning threat dissipated, heavy rain continued, leaving areas of the course waterlogged, and the decision was taken to suspend overnight.

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Richie Ramsay will resume on four-under, having picked up a short in his first five holes, with David Law sitting on three-under. Ewen Ferguson and Connor Syme are both one-under, with Scott Jamieson and Bob MacIntyre level-par and two-over respectively.

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