Michael McGeady maintained his run of consistency yesterday to sweep into the final qualifying school of the European Tour and to move closer to a full Tour card.
The 36-year-old Dongal man, who turned professional nine years ago, was keeping his head while his fellow Irishmen were faltering at the final hurdle.
McGeady, who helped Ireland win the Raymond Trophy as Home International champions in 2003, produced a solid display at El Saler to card a closing 70 for a 72-hole total of 285 and a share of 12th place.
Royal Dublin’s Niall Kearney, who looked in pole position over Tarragona’s Lumine course to qualify, slipped to a 73 yesterday after dropping 15 places and out of the top 17 who go through.
Kearney did not play at all badly, finishing on seven under par but the standard was so high he needed four near-perfect rounds to make it the final stage in Catalunya next Saturday.
“It was disappointing after three good days especially as my golf was not bad even on the final day but the standard was so high,” said Kearney.
McGeady started poorly yesterday with a couple of bogeys, but soon recovered and reached the turn in 36. He then kept his nerve brilliantly to come home in two under par 34 with seven pars and birdies on the 11th and 15th.
His 70 followed rounds of 73,70 and 72 and, after trying for his full tour card every year since taking the plunge into the paid ranks, he could soon be planning for life on the circuit.
His one major success came in the Swalec Welsh Challenge in 2008 but he is currently ranked number 1,547 in the world so this is a chance for him to make a serious mark.
“I am absolutely over the moon. Now I just need to keep my head in the gruelling six-round final school,” said McGeady who was pipped by Kearney in his defence of the Irish PGA Championship last month.
Welshman Garry Houston led the way in the El Saler qualifying with a 277 total.
Two bogeys on the homeward stretch at Lumine cost Kearney dearly as he finished in joint 21st spot, just a couple of strokes outside qualifying.
David Higgins was back on 282 at Lumine while Mark Murphy was well behind on 290 following a disappointing 75 yesterday and Brendan McCarroll was even further back- he had a 76 yesterday for a 295 aggregate.
At Panoramica, Irish pair Ruaidhri McGee and Gareth Shaw were well out of the reckoning in an event won by England’s Matthew Southgate.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved