Ruaidhrí McGee and Gavin Moynihan still on course to earn European Tour cards

The duo made the fourth round cut in Spain as Cormac Sharvin and Dermot McElroy missed out

Gavin Moynihan is looking well set to earn a European Tour card. Photo: Tom Dulat/Getty Images

Gavin Moynihan is looking well set to earn a European Tour card. Photo: Tom Dulat/Getty Images

 

Derry’s Ruaidhrí McGee birdied seven of his last eight holes to keep his dream of a European Tour card alive at the Final Stage of the Qualifying School in Spain.

The 26-year-old Challenge Tour regular was five shots outside the projected cut mark with nine holes to go on the tight and tricky Hills Course at Lumine Golf Club in Tarragona.

But after going out in two-over, he raced home seven-under 29 to post a five-under 67 and make the 72-hole cut for the top 70 and ties with two shots to spare on four-under par.

Dubliner Gavin Moynihan carded a bogey-free, three-under 68 on the Lakes Course to move up to tied eighth on 10-under, just five strokes behind England’s Sam Horsfield, who leads by a shot from compatriot Charlie Ford on 15-under.

Cormac Sharvin was disappointed to miss the cut by three shots after going out in three under at the Hills to get inside the top 70, but the former Walker Cup star from Ardglass signed for a level par 72 to finish on one-over-par.

He can console himself with the fact that after a tough year, he has full Challenge Tour status next year.

There was no luck either for Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy, who was denied all week on the greens and posted a one-over 73 at the Hills to finish seven shots outside the mark on five-over.

The dream is still alive for Moynihan and McGee after a “moving day” that saw last year’s winner, Ricardo Gonzalez, former Ryder Cup player Niclas Fasth and tour winners Richard Green and Simon Dyson miss the cut as former BMW PGA winner Simon Khan made it on the mark.

McGee also looked certain to miss out after his front nine but once he relaxed, the putts began to fall.

“When you are out of the tournament, you chill out a bit and maybe that’s what happened,” said McGee, who made four birdies in a row from the 11th and another three to finish, leaving him just three strokes outside the top 25 and ties who will be awarded cards after Thursday’s sixth round.

“I was five outside the cut mark and nowhere near and then it all changed,” said McGee, who had just 11 official putts on the back nine, holing four times between 12 and 15 feet and tapping in for his other three birdies.

“It’s funny to go from being right out of the tournament to being right back in the middle of it.”

Moynihan has his sights set on a top 10 finish as it would give him a far superior category of membership compared to the players who finish between 11th and 25th this week.

He already knows he will get a dozen European Tour starts next year and admitted yesterday that he could not be more relaxed.

“I am so relaxed out there, it’s a joke,” he said with a chuckle after making three birdies in an almost faultless display.

“Even when the ball got stuck up the tree the other day, it didn’t bother me. Last year, I’d have lost the plot.

“The goal is top 10 and whatever happens, happens. I know 11th to 25th is a bit of an improvement on what I have but the top 10 is a better category again, so two sub-70 rounds is the target for the next two days.”

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