Gary Hurley and Michael Hoey survive Q-School cut

Gary Hurley stood over a two-and-a-half foot putt on the final hole of the Tour Course at PGA Catalunya yesterday, knowing if he missed, he’d be following fellow Waterford man and playing partner Kevin Phelan and Ruaidhrí McGee on the first plane out of Girona.

Gary Hurley and Michael Hoey survive Q-School cut

A pitching wedge away on the Stadium Course 18th was the other Irishman in the field Michael Hoey, not knowing a birdie would be enough to see him edge inside the cut.

However, both Irishmen made no mistake as they confidently holed the clutch putts that ensured they squeaked inside the cut (set at par) and guaranteed both remain in the hunt at the final stage of Q-School.

The 65 Hurley carded was his best round of the week so far — nine better than his opening effort on the same track last Saturday but all that matters is he’s teeing it up this morning knowing a full European Tour card is the prize if he can make the top 25.

“I knew I needed to make birdie at least. I wasn’t sure if the cut was going to one under because yesterday it was closer to plus-one,” he said.

“I know the putt was only two feet but the greens are quite bobbly with a lot of footprints and they’re grainy as well.

“I hit some really nice putts today and they didn’t go in and then I had some not-so-great ones and they snuck in so I was just so happy to see it go in the hole.”

He admitted he “couldn’t believe” the shot that preceded it didn’t “drop in the front door” but it mattered little.

“The first putt was brilliant and then it trickled two and a half feet past the hole it but yeah, I’m relieved to make the cut so I get two more rounds and I get to experience the six rounds.”

Asked if his primary goal simply to make the cut this week he interrupted: “No, my primary goal was to finish in the top 25, otherwise there’s no point in being here, really.

“Make the cut and you make a Challenge Tour card, I finished 80th on the money ranking last year so I’d have a decent category at least for that…but top 25 is the goal and I’ve given myself a chance now if I can get back to how I normally play for the next couple of days.

“Hopefully I can be in there with a shout on the back nine tomorrow.”

Two who won’t be here are Phelan and McGee after rounds of par (+7 overall) and +3 (+6 overall), respectively.

Nathan Kimsey leads the way on -12 after a scorching round of nine-under, three clear of a trio featuring Edoardo Molinari, Richard McEvoy, and Robert Coles.

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