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Disaster and desire the order of the day at Q-School

Tight Stadium Course turned European dreams into nightmares

Nowhere were the twin imposters of success and failure more in evidence than at the Final Stage of the Qualifying School where Rosapenna’s Ruaidhri McGee followed his glorious opening 64 with a nightmarish 87 to all but kiss his European Tour hopes goodbye.

“What can you say, except sh*t,” ventured a crestfallen McGee, whose world fell apart when he followed a bogey six at the 12th with two visits to the lake en route to a quintuple bogey nine (three-putt included) at the downhill, water-protected, 425-yard 13th. 

His 87 was also the worst score of the day by three stokes and relegated him for fourth to tied 154th in the 156-man field on nine over par.

With the top 25 and ties earning full European Tour cards after six rounds, McGee is 14 strokes outside the card places and 10 shots outside the Top 70 and ties who make the 72-hole cut tomorrow (Tues), meaning he’s likely to be playing Challenge Tour golf again next season.

The other six Irishman in action at PGA Catalunya still have their options intact to a greater or lesser degree with some of the veterans confessing that lack of motivation is their biggest challenge.

Six shots behind paces setters Filippo Bergamaschi of Italy and Lukas Nemecz of Austria, who both shot five under 65s on the shorter course to get to 10 under, Thornton has been battling his lack of desire as much as a niggling case of tennis elbow 

Greystones’ Paul Dunne hit 16 greens in regulation but holed nothing and had to get up and down brilliantly for par at his final hole for a two under 68 to remain two shots outside the magic number in joint 29th on three under alongside Damien McGrane, who had an eagle three, four birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey in an adventurous 68 on the same course

The 44-year old Kells man feels outmatched by the young guns on Tour these days and says that while he has no interest in remaining on the circuit after losing his card this year, he still wants to give himself options for 2016.

As for the rest of the Irish, Kevin Phelan “played well” for a 72 on the Stadium Course but lies 76th on level par while Headfort’s Brian Casey and veteran Peter Lawrie shot 69s on the Tour Course but share 116th on three over.

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