Ruaidhri McGee on course to make final European Tour qualifier

Donegal golfer shares fifth place going into final round in Spain

 Niall Kearney carded a 69 and is in a tie for 24th spot at the second stage of European Tour qualifying at Las Colinas near Alicante in Spain. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Niall Kearney carded a 69 and is in a tie for 24th spot at the second stage of European Tour qualifying at Las Colinas near Alicante in Spain. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

 

Ruaidhri McGee kept up his brilliant showing in European Tour school by moving into a share of fifth position following the third round of the second stage of qualifying at Las Colinas in Alicante.

The 22-year-old Rosapenna golfer has been based at nearby Roda Golf Club in recent years and showed his local knowledge with a four-under-par 71 to move to nine under going into the final round.

McGee notched up two birdies on each nine and didn’t drop a shot to share fifth spot with American Jason Knutzon and and England’s James Ruth.

McGee, who won his first qualifier event, is 10 shots behind runaway leader James Heath after the English golfer carded his second 64 of the week in Alicante.

With 17 places on offer at Las Colinas for final qualifying, McGee is well placed ahead of Tuesday’s fourth and final round.

Royal Dublin’s Niall Kearney is currently in a tie for 24th position on three under after a third round of 69, while Ulsterman Damian Mooney is tied for 40th on level par after a 70.

Former professional footballer Stephen Grant is two shots further back after also carding a 70, while Brendan McCarroll is towards the back of the field on seven over after a one-over 72.

American-based Kevin Phelan leads the Irish challenge up the coast on the links at El Soler. The Waterford golfer is in a tie for 16th spot on one over after a two-over 74 in his third round, with 17 places also on offer at the famous Valencia course.

Athlone’s Colm Moriarty will need to go low in his final round after a 76 pushed him back to share of 31st position on four over.

Ulster’s Alan Dunbar is back on 10 over after a 73, while John-Daniel Guiney is 19 over after a 78.

Amateur Dermot McEloy is still in contention to make the final stage of qualifying after a two-under 69 left him in a share of 25th spot on five under at Lumine, with 17 places on offer.

Play was abandoned due to high winds at Valle Ramano in Estepona, where Ulster’s Gareth Shaw is the only Irish golfer in action.

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