By Brian Keogh
Ireland’s trio of contenders remain in the hunt for European Tour cards, with Tramore’s Robin Dawson surviving the cut on the mark after a gutsy finish to his fourth round at the gruelling European Tour Qualifying School Final Stage in Spain.
In just his fourth event as a professional, the Irish Amateur Open champion slipped outside the top 70 and ties when he bogeyed his 12th and 13th holes (the third and fourth) on the Hills Course at Lumine Golf Club, Tarragona.
He bounced back with birdies at 15 and 16 before finishing with two pars to card a two-under 70 that was enough to make the six-under-par cut on the mark.
Like Gavin Moynihan and Cormac Sharvin, tied 29th and 49th respectively, Dawson has now secured a full Challenge Tour card for 2019. But he has work to do to win a European Tour card as he’s six shots outside the top 25 and ties who gain promotion after two more rounds on the Lakes Course.
Moynihan, 24, is the best placed of the Irish trio after he shot a one-under 70 on the Lakes Course to lie one shot outside the top 25 and ties.
“I played nicely today but struggled on the greens a bit and my back still at me, especially on long shots,” said Moynihan, who is tied for 29th on 11-under, nine strokes behind England’s Daniel Gavins.
A total of 77 players made the cut with Ardglass man Sharvin, 26, relieved to survive and ensure he at least has a strong Challenge Tour card for 2019. “I felt a bit of pressure going out there after finishing 71st in the Challenge Tour Rankings, so that secured my status for next year,” he said.
He followed a third-round 66 with a four-under 68 on the Hills Course yesterday to sit four shots outside the top 25 on eight under. “I’m 47th at the minute so just over 20 spots away from a card. A good two days and who knows, anything can happen.”
A host of big names missed the 280 cut, including former BMW PGA champion Matteo Manassero (287) and 2008 Irish Open champion Richard Finch (288).