Two successive shots into water appeared to have killed off Paul Broadhurst’s hopes of making it through the European tour qualifying school at San Roque in Spain today.
Already needing to produce something special the Ryder Cup midlander, 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.
Ireland’s Philip Walton, the other Ryder Cup man in the field, was in an even more perilous position than Broadhurst at the start of the final day.
At two over Walton was probably looking for a 65 or even a course-record 64 as he set off again and even though he birdied two of the first three the three pars which followed made it long odds against that he would regain his tour card after two previous failures at the school.
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.