Golf: Odds lengthening on Walton

Philip Walton's hopes of regaining a European Tour card look to be slipping away at the qualifying school in San Roque, Spain.

Philip Walton's hopes of regaining a European Tour card look to be slipping away at the qualifying school in San Roque, Spain.

At two over Walton was probably looking for a 65 or even a course-record 64 as he set off again this morning.

And even though he birdied two of the first three the three pars which followed made it long odds against that the Irish Ryder Cup player would regain his tour card after two previous failures at the school.

Two successive shots into water appeared to have killed off Paul Broadhurst’s hopes of making it through the qualifying school.

Already needing to produce something special the Ryder Cup Englishman, back fighting for his future for the first time since he turned professional in 1988, ran up a triple-bogey seven on the 428-yard 18th.

His drive was pulled left and then, after he took a penalty drop, his long iron third curved away into the lake by the green.

Having started on the 10th, he still had the outward half left but as he walked to the first tee Broadhurst asked rhetorically: ‘‘Do I have to play them?’’

He was back to two over and probably needed to get to five under to be among the top 35 and ties who are awarded places on next year’s circuit.

Steve Richardson, Broadhurst’s team-mate in the 1991 Ryder Cup, went to the turn in 35 to stand six under.

With 15 holes to play, it was still Welshman David Park who led at 18 under now by two from South African Ian Hutchings. Nineteen-year-old Walker Cup star Nick Dougherty was up to fourth on 13 under after birdies at the first and third.

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