The hugely-talented former amateur international fired a sizzling five under par 66 in the third and penultimate round of the Tour qualifying school’s second stage over the Lumine course in Tarragona, Spain to put himself well in contention for a spot in the final stage starting on Saturday.
That 66 followed rounds of 70 and 69 for a 205 54-hole aggregate giving him a tie for sixth place – and with 17 berths at stake in the third and final stage Dublin native Kearney will, barring a disaster, go through.
Also at Lumine, David Higgins and Mark Murphy, with aggregates of 212 and 215 respectively, appear to have too much work to do while Brendan McCarroll is also out of contention on 219.
Niall Turner, playing at Los Colinas, gave himself a lifeline on Saturday with a four under par 67 but slipped to a 72 yesterday and with a 212 aggregate in joint 49th is out of it barring an exceptional performance today.
At El Saler Michael McGeady has a chance of progressing as he is on 215 and in joint 16th – there are 17 spots available from this venue as well – and the remaining Irishmen Ruaidhn McGee and Gareth Shaw have left themselves with mountains to climb at Panoramica some five and eight strokes respectively outside of the qualifying places.