IRISH NEWS

Mooney within touching distance as Scottish amateur leads Staysure Tour Q-School

By Brian Keogh  

Damian Mooney. Photo by Golffile

Belfast’s Damian Mooney is just five shots off the pace at halfway in the chase for five precious cards at the Staysure Tour Qualifying School Final Stage in Portugal.

Scottish amateur Euan McIntosh added a 66 to his opening 68 to lead by one stroke on eight-under-par at Pestana Golf Resort’s Pinta Course where Mooney is the best of the Irish one-under-par

"I've done this a few times now," said McIntosh (50), who played on the Scottish team that beat Ireland on the opening day of last year’s Home Internationals at Lahinch.

"I've been to America twice, and I think it gives you a good preparation. You get used to it a little bit. America has been a good learning curve. The course here is in fantastic shape, which is great."

Mooney covered his opening nine in a brilliant, five-under 31 but came home in four-over to sign for a 70 that left him tied for 14th on one-under 141.

Only those within eight strokes of the last qualification spot on Wednesday evening will qualify for Thursday's final round.

But while Mooney is just five shots adrift of that mark, Headfort's Brendan McGovern shot a level par 71 and Kilkenny's Jimmy Bolger a two-under 69 to leave them tied for 51st, 11 strokes outside the projected cut mark on five-over.

Kiwi Michael Long and first-round leader Carl Suneson of Spain trail McIntosh, the 2018 Scottish Amateur champion, by one shot on seven-under with Canadian David Morland IV and Mark Booth of England rounding out the top five places on six-under.

"You've got to try to win the tournament," said McIntosh. "I'm normally not very good at these things. If it was a normal tournament, it would be much easier, but so far it's gone pretty well.

"It's an old cliché, but you hit a drive, and then the next shot is the next shot, and then the next is the next. You've just got to keep going.

"Something is going to happen where it's not going to go your way, and you've just got to try and keep as much within yourself as possible.

"I made a double today on 12, we were four under par and cruising, and then all of a sudden you make a double, and you think, 'right okay, settle down, you've got a long way to go in this yet.' "Tour schools are horrendous- the nerves. It's been tough, but it's been enjoyable."

Staysure Tour Qualifying School Final Stage

Pestana Golf Resort (Pinta Course, Par 71) Portugal

Detailed Scores

134 E McIntosh (am) (Sco) 68 66,

135 M Long (Nzl) 67 68, C Suneson (Esp) 65 70,

136 D Morland Iv (Can) 66 70, M Booth (Eng) 66 70,

137 A Bossert (Sui) 70 67, S Brown (Eng) 69 68,

138 V Casado (Esp) 71 67, C Monasterio (Arg) 69 69,

139 P Wilson (Eng) 70 69, S McGreal (Eng) 71 68, R Coceres (Arg) 70 69, G Marks (Eng) 69 70,

141 P Blaikie (Sco) 71 70, S Henderson (Sco) 72 69, S Little (Eng) 69 72, Damian Mooney (Irl) 71 70, G Manson (Aut) 73 68, G Wolstenholme (Eng) 73 68, M Young (am) (Eng) 71 70,

142 C Hunsucker (USA) 73 69, R Benitez (Esp) 73 69, A Raitt (Eng) 69 73, M Belsham (Eng) 74 68, S Bebb (Wal) 72 70, G Joyner (Aus) 73 69, J Bevan (Eng) 72 70, P Scott (Eng) 72 70,

143 J Inman (USA) 72 71, G Milne (Eng) 73 70, B Smith (Eng) 73 70, S Wilkinson (Wal) 73 70, R Ponce (Ecu) 70 73,

144 C Gomez (Esp) 73 71, F Lamare (Fra) 72 72, G Pietrobono (Ita) 74 70, M Wharton (Eng) 72 72, C Baron (Eng) 71 73, M Bianco (Ita) 72 72, N Cavalheiro (Por) 74 70,

145 T Spence (Eng) 73 72, C Corrigan (Eng) 73 72, J Cheetham (Eng) 74 71,

146 J Murphy (Eng) 73 73, D Wettlaufer (Can) 74 72, N Mitchell (Eng) 75 71, M Spooner (Eng) 76 70, S Cipa (Eng) 73 73, C Ronald (Sco) 74 72, J Sallat (Fra) 73 73, M Watson (Eng) 75 71,

147 M Reynard (Eng) 75 72, J Kemp (Eng) 76 71, S Bishop (Eng) 74 73, J Romero (Esp) 73 74, Brendan McGovern (Irl) 76 71, Jimmy Bolger (Irl) 78 69, G Ghei (Ind) 75 72, M Stimson (Wal) 73 74,

148 R Tinworth (Eng) 76 72, D Westermark (Swe) 73 75, B Austin (Eng) 76 72,

149 N Sweet (Eng) 76 73, S Chauffour (Fra) 76 73, D Prosser (Eng) 75 74,

150 N Cheetham (Eng) 75 75, F Almskoug (Swe) 73 77,

151 A Sherborne (Eng) 77 74, J Carro (Esp) 76 75, A Hill (Eng) 76 75, J Arruti (Esp) 77 74,

152 A Collison (Eng) 75 77, M Hjelte (am) (Swe) 76 76, C Dinsdale (am) (Wal) 78 74,

153 S Bennett (Eng) 76 77,

154 M Kierstenson (Eng) 75 79,

155 J Ripley (Eng) 79 76, M Denton (am) (Eng) 78 77,

164 F Isola (Bel) 82 82, F Guedra (Alg) 78 86,

DQ D Berry (Eng) DQ 0.

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