Peter Lawrie is the best-placed Irishman heading into today’s final round of Qualifying School at PGA Catalunya resort in Girona.
The Dubliner jumped eight places yesterday to tie for 29th, but he still has work to do to finish inside the top 25 and ties today and regain his European Tour card for 2015.
The 2008 Spanish Open winner wasn’t best pleased with his round of 72 yesterday as four bogeys, three on the back nine sees him 12 shots off the lead held by 17-year-old Italian wonderkid Renato Paratore.
“I am a little bit disappointed,” said a frustrated Lawrie. “Level par for the day, it could have been a bit better, I missed a few chances coming in but I’m still in the race.”
His round was an improvement on the 74 a day previously but he’s no stranger to the kind of pressure which awaits today.
“I’ve played in the last groups at the Spanish Open, I won that and have been in a few play-offs since then so it’s going to be no different to that. I should be able to get used to it and if I could shoot a 69 today, it should see me home.”
He continued: “It’s been a long week, very long. I made a few little errors on Tuesday, making seven on the 12th was stupid really but it’s like anything; after a long run sometimes you make silly errors and you just have to pick yourself up and get on with it.”
Kevin Phelan and Simon Thornton are both tied 38th, a shot behind on four under, and both will probably need to go three under today to secure the cards.
Thornton was calmness personified going out yesterday, shooting two under for the front nine but a double bogey on 15 left him with level par for the round.
“I was solid but I’m disappointed because of the double bogey coming in there,” he surmised.
“I started well, I was going grand, gave myself a lot of chances, had two great (birdie) chances onto the par five third and the par four ninth but I missed those. Overall I feel good, I’ve always said that it’s not the worst thing in the world if I don’t make it today, or it’s not the best thing if I do get a card either. There are more important things in life, like life itself, kids, that sort of stuff. The only way you can make it easier for yourself is committing to every shot and if it happens, great. If it doesn’t, just keep going.”
Asked had he a target in mind for today, the Royal County Down player said: “I just have to play it as it comes and see what happens. I’m -4 now and 25th is -6, so I’m going to have to shoot -2 or -3 anyway, but we know that, if I got -5 or -6 on the board, it’d be good.”
Similarly, Phelan was in rueful form and spent two hours on the putting green after he concluded his round of 74, his worst of the week.
“It was alright, I played quite well but missed a few putts so I feel alright and my game feels good. I just have to go out and give it a go today. I had three bogeys and a birdie and one of each on the back nine. I didn’t do too much wrong to have the bogeys, I played quite well and had loads of chances so once I get a few of those to drop, I’ll be flying.”
Unfortunately, the game would appear to be up for Ballyclare’s Gareth Maybin, who couldn’t replicate his heroics of 24 hours earlier where he shot 10 birdies in a scintillating 65.
He finished two over for the day on level par, following a round of 74 which featured six bogeys and if he’s to break into the top 25, it’ll take some more of the magic he produced on Tuesday to do so.
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