Michael Hoey shot a three-under 69 – his best on the Stadium Course since this six-day marathon commenced last Saturday, and if he can produce something similar today it’s likely he’ll secure his card.
The Ballymoney man scraped inside the cut on Tuesday following a stunning clutch birdie on 18 and that proved to be the catalyst for him to make up further ground yesterday.
Three birdies and a bogey before the turn were followed by three more birdies and two bogeys – one an ugly three-putt on the last.
That left him T39 but just two shots outside the top 25 and ties who will secure playing rights on the 2017 Race to Dubai.
Meanwhile, 23-year-old Waterford man Gary Hurley has it all to do if he’s to secure his entry on the lucrative Tour as he is currently on level par after a round of 72.
He’s currently tied for 64th but knows if he can reproduce the form he showed on the opening nine holes yesterday where he holed putts for birdies on two, three and seven he too can secure his place on tour.
Indeed, if this week has taught us anything it’s that leaps up the leaderboard can be made in an instant and Hurley’s playing partner on Tuesday, Pontus Widegren from Sweden, is proof of that.
With 37 holes to go he was missing the cut but a clutch eagle on 18 on Tuesday saw him creep inside the line, just like Hurley and Hoey themselves.
And after four birdies today en route to a round of 68 (-4) Widegren is sitting prettily inside the top 25 on -5 overall.
Italian Edoardo Molinari leads the field by three shots after a stunning five-under-par round of 67. The two-time European Tour winner is currently on 14-under with just today’s sixth and final round to go.
Overnight leader Nathan Kimsey is Molinari’s closest challenger, the Englishman scrapping for a 73, with compatriots Tom Lewis, Richard McEvoy, Matthew Nixon and Eddie Pepperell two shots further back in a tie for third place.