by Ronan MacNamara
Dermot McElroy by Golffile
It’s the penultimate week on the EuroPro Tour in the Isle of Man for the Castletown Links event in Derbyhaven set along the picturesque Langness Peninsula where the golf course is engulfed by the sea.
There are just two events left for the top players on the satellite tour to secure their Challenge Tour cards for next season by finishing in the top-5 on the Order of Merit.
Dermot McElroy is 4th in the Race to Challenge Tour spots and needs to make the cut to ensure he holds on to that spot heading to the Tour Championship next week.
McElroy who won the Cubefunder Championship has been on a horrid run of form since, missing three consecutive cuts including on home soil at the NI Masters in Clandeboye.
Mitch Waite is the runaway leader at the top of the Order Of Merit while McElroy can still finish as high as second or drop out of the top-5.
Stuart Grehan currently holds the coveted 60th place and the final spot at the Tour Championship.
The Maynooth Graduate has been in excellent form and after missing seven cuts in a row, a late charge of 7th, 18th and 24th has seen him fly up the Order of Merit into the final Tour Championship qualifying spot.
Grehan leads Scotland’s Stuart McLaren by just £67 heading to the Isle of Man.
There is still hope for Daniel Brennan to charge into the top-60 at the eleventh hour with the Shannon Golf Club player needing a big finish to squeeze his way into the Tour Championship.
Ranked at 71st in the Order of Merit, Brennan arrested a run of three consecutive missed cuts with a share of 33rd place at the Motocaddy Masters.
Ronan Mullarney broke into the top-90 with a 52nd place finish as he propped up the field after three rounds last week.
The Galway native has struggled on the satellite tour this season missing eight out of his last nine cuts before last week.
With the likelihood of just McElroy and Grehan progressing to the Tour Championship, the season will come to an end for a host of Irish players this week.
JR Galbraith, John Hickey, Brian McCormack, Conor O’Rourke and Tim Rice will bring their EuroPro campaigns to a close.
O’Rourke has plied his trade on both the satellite tour and Europe’s second tier this season.
The Naas native was in contention through two rounds after shooting 68 and 64 before a disappointing round of 73 saw him tumble out of the top-10 as far as 42nd.
Season defining weeks are ahead for McElroy and Grehan, but opportunity knocks for the remaining Irish to finish their seasons on a high.