Monday, November 11, 2013


First hurdle to be cleared by the field of 156 in the six-round European Tour Final Qualifying School is to survive the cut to the leading 70 and ties after 72 holes at PGA Catalunya Golf Resort, near Girona, north-east Spain.
Only four of the 10 Scots, Alastair Forsyth (tied third), Jack Doherty (jt 31st), Andrew McArthur and Doug McGuigan (both jt 40th), are within the safety zone after today's (Monday) second round when the players exchanged courses.
For Scott Henry (jt 81st), Raymond Russell and George Murray (jt 109), Neil Fenwick and Duncan Stewart (both jt 113rd) and Scott Drummond (jt 126th) already any dividend on their £1,650 entry fee looks a forlorn prospect.
No first-cut worries for Forsyth. He shot a two-under-par 70 over the more difficult and longer Stadium Course and his seven-under 135 tally has him in joint third place overall, only three shots behind American leader John Hahn (66 for 132).
That Forsyth is playing with a confidence that augurs well for him to be one of the top 25 and ties who will gain playing rights for next season's European Tour at the end of play on Friday.
A previous winner of the Q School, he shrugged off a double bogey 7 at the long seventh and came romping home in 33 shots, thanks to an eagle 3 at the long 15th and birdies at the 11th and 17th.
West Linton's Welshman Gareth Wright is not a Scot but worth mentioning that he is within the leading 20 at the moment after a five-under 65 over the Tour Course for a 137. Wright had a bag of one eagle and five birdies.
Doherty will be happy to be sharing 31st place at this stage of the marathon. He matched the Tour Course par of 70 for 138.
McArthur looked set to following his Sunday 66 with another sub-70 round when he stood three under par  with two holes to play on Stadium course. But double calamity then struck the Glaswegian with double bogey 6s at the 17th and 18th holes for 39 shots home and a one-over 73 for 139.
On the same mark is Clydeside-born South African-based McGuigan who was in the doldrums at one over par after nine holes before he stepped up a gear to birdie the 10th, 16th and 18th for 32 home and a two-under 68.
So much for those who are not under real pressure yet.
Henry had an eagle for the second day running but a two-under 70 at the  Stadium Course for a tally of 142 still leaves him with a lot of good work to do.
Russell and Murray are both on 144 after a day of constrasting fortunes. Russell shot a two-under 68, eight shots better than Sunday's opener while Murray plummeted from a Sunday 67 to a Monday five-over 77. The Fifer shed five shots over the last seven holes, a slump climaxed by a double bogey 6 at the 18th for an inward half of 40.
Fenwick and Stewart both started with double bogey 6s and will both start the third round on the 145 mark. Fenwick's three inward birdies helped him salvage4 a one-over 73 but Stewart signed for a 77 (40-37).
Drummond's PGA championship success a few years back must seem like a distant dream although he did play better to return a one-over 71 for 146 and bring up the rear for the 10 Scots hopefuls.

Par 142 (1x70, 1x72).
132 J Hahn (US) 66 66
134 J Dantorp (Swe) 66 68
135 A Forsyth (Sco) 65 70, R Finch (Eng) 64 71, B Stone (SAf) 69 66, J Fahrbring (Swe) 71 64
136 M Jonzon (Swe) 64 72, E Espana (Fra) 62 74, D Brooks (Eng) 65 71, W Ormnsby (Aus) 69 67, O Wilson (Eng) 69 67, R McGee (Ire) 70 66, E Goya (Arg) 66 70, F Zanotti (Par) 66 70.
137 G Wright (Wal) 72 65 (T17)
138 J Doherty (Sco) 68 70 (T31)
139 A McArthur (Sco) 66 73, D McGuigan 71 68 (T40)
142 S Henry (Sco) 72 70 (T81)
144 R Russell (Sco) 76 68, G Murray (Sco) 67 77 (T109).
145 N Fenwick (Sco) 72 73, D Stewart (Sco) 68 77 (T113)
146 S Drummond (Sco) 75 71 (T126).



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