Moriarty and McGee lead way at qualifying school

Irish duo hold first and second spots at first qualifying stage

 Colm Moriarty shot a second round 67 to take a one-dot lead at the halfway stage of European Tour Qualifying School first stage at Wychwood Park. Photograph:   Warren Little/Getty Images

Colm Moriarty shot a second round 67 to take a one-dot lead at the halfway stage of European Tour Qualifying School first stage at Wychwood Park. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

 

Irish golfers are setting the pace at the halfway stage of the European Tour Qualifying School first stage at Wychwood Park with former Challenge Tour champion Colm Moriarty one clear of Ruaidhri McGee.

After 43 players progressed through to the second stage during last week’s start to the qualifying campaign, another 194 players are competing at two venues, Wychwood Park in Cheshire and Germany’s Golf and Country Club Fleesensee, looking to follow suit.

Rosapenna golfer McGee led by three overnight at Wychwood Park but was reeled in after following his opening 66 with a two-over-par 74, with Athlone man Moriarty taking full advantage with a 67 to edge one clear at five under par.

The goal for is to finish in the top 22 and ties at Wychwood Park to progress through to the Second Qualifying Stage in November.

Alan Dunbar is in a tie for eighth place on two over after a 73, while amateur Demot McElroy is in a tie for 15th on four over after also posting a one-over 73 in his second round.

Those with work to do over the closing two rounds include Paul Cutler after an 81 dropped him back to eight over, David P Jones is a shot further back after a 76. Ulster amateur Matt McAlpin is on 10 over following a 78.

In Germany, Royal Dublin’s Niall Kearney lies in a share of seventh position after adding a 68 to his opening 69 to move to seven under, five shots behind leader John Hahn of the United States.

Simon Ward is three over after carding a 73, with Cian McNamara on six over after a 78.