Ruaidhri McGee and Kevin Phelan edge closer to European Tour cards

Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy still in contention after play suspended in Tarragona

Ireland’s  Kevin Phelan has qualified for the final  round of Q-School. Photograph:  Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Ireland’s Kevin Phelan has qualified for the final round of Q-School. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Tue, Nov 5, 2013, 18:28

Ruaidhri McGee and Kevin Phelan moved closer to securing a European Tour card when both qualified from their respective second stage events in Spain on Tuesday.

Donegal’s McGee finished in 7th place at the Las Colinas Club in Alicante after a steady round of 71 ensured he finished on nine-under par thanks to his first three scores of 67, 70 and 67 giving him an aggregate of 275.

The Ulsterman finished six shots off eventual winner James Heath of England, who held at least a share of the lead since the opening day.

Niall Kearney shot a disastrous 76 in his final round to finish on 286 and in a share of 36th position to extinguish any hopes of claiming one of the 17 available spots for the final qualifying event to be held at the PGA Catalunya Resort in Girona from November 10th-15th.

Belfast’s Damien Mooney (289), The Heritage’s Stephen Grant (289) and Ballyliffin’s Brendan McCarroll (306) all missed out, with David Rawluk retiring during the third round.

In Valencia, Waterford’s Phelan claimed one of the 17 available places on offer at the El Saler course by finishing in a tie for 13th place. He fired a final round of 73 to finish two over par for after previous rounds of 71, 72 and 74.

Ballybunion’s John-Daniel Guiney withdrew from the event, ending any hopes of qualification, while Colm Moriarty and 2012 Amateur Champion Alan Dunbar both failed to progress after finishing with scores of 295 and 301 respectively.

Carlos Del Moral of Spain won the event finishing on eight under par after scores of 70, 67, 71 and 71 left him on 281.

High winds affected play at the Lumine Club in Tarragona and Valle Romano in Malaga causing the final rounds of both tournaments to be postponed until Wednesday.

Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy (on five under and in a tie for 25th) is in with a chance of qualifying if he can produce a low-scoring round but Gareth Shaw looks unlikely to make it through to the final event on Sunday.

David Higgins (41) will be there at the weekend after finishing just outside the top 110 on Tour this year to earn a place in the final qualifiers, which will consist of six rounds in Girona.