Focused McGee closes on Euro Q-School finale

Donegal’s Ruaidhri McGee is on the verge of progressing through to the final European Tour Qualifying School event next weekend after another superb round at Las Colinas in Spain.

The 22-year-old is in a share of fifth along with American Jason Knutzon and England’s James Ruth after posting a third-round score of 67 to leave him on nine-under par.

After his opening two scores of 67 and 70, he is on 204, 10 shots behind runaway leader, England’s James Heath. But McGee, attached to Rosapenna, must have one eye on the final qualifying stage at PGA Catalunya if he avoids a meltdown in his final round.

Royal Dublin’s Niall Kearney is tied for 24th after his 69 left him on three-under par with a 210 aggregate but it will require an even better effort to get his hands on one of 17 available places to the final stage. Ballygiffin’s Damien Mooney (213) is an outsider to qualify, while the hopes of Stephan Grant (215), Brendan McCarroll (220) and David Rawluk look dim.

At the El Saler course in Valencia, Waterford’s Kevin Phelan’s 74 put him on one-over par for the tournament and in a share of 16th spot along with a host of others chasing Spain’s Carlos Del Moral on seven under. Phelan needs a vast improvement to seal qualification but Colm Moriarty (220) Alan Dunbar (226) and John-Daniel Guiney (235) are likely to miss out.

Ballymena amateur Dermot McElroy is the sole Irish competitor at Lumine club on Tarragona and is in contention after posting a 69 to put him on five-under and in a five-way share of 25th spot. Galgorm Castle’s Gareth Shaw’s chances of progressing are slim after strong winds halted play at the Valle Romano course in Malaga.

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