War­ren ral­lies to boost tour card bid

Evening Times - - SPORT -

MARC WAR­REN bol­stered his push to re­gain his Euro­pean Tour card in the third round of the cir­cuit’s six-round qual­i­fy­ing school fi­nal at Lu­mine near Barcelona yes­ter­day.

The three-time tour cham­pion and for­mer World Cup win­ner, who lost his play­ing rights at the end of a mis­er­able 2019 cam­paign, fired a four-un­der 67 to move onto a four-un­der ag­gre­gate.

That left War­ren two shots out­side the cur­rent card­win­ning places head­ing into to­day’s fourth round of the gru­elling 108-hole marathon.

Barassie rookie Euan Walker, the run­ner-up in the Am­a­teur cham­pi­onship and the Euro­pean Am­a­teur Cham­pi­onship this sea­son, posted a 70 and was sit­ting on the five-un­der mark, one stroke out­side a top-25 fin­ish re­quired to grad­u­ate to the 2020 Euro­pean Tour. Perth’s Daniel Young is also on a five-un­der tally af­ter a 72.

Borderer Craig Howie and Bears­den’s Ewen Fer­gu­son sit on the three and two-un­der mark re­spec­tively but Liam John­ston, who lost his tour card at the end of the sea­son, is fac­ing a mighty bat­tle just to qual­ify for the clos­ing two rounds af­ter a dam­ag­ing 76 left him four shots out­side the cur­rent 72-hole cut mark.

At the front of the field, Den­mark’s Ben­jamin Poke, who re­cently com­pleted a strong rookie sea­son on the Euro­pean Chal­lenge Tour, posted a 69 to lead the way on 12-un­der.

“It was nice to fin­ish with a flurry of birdies at the end,” he said. “I haven’t re­ally looked at the score­boards this week or checked on­line af­ter the round to see how I’m do­ing and I’ve been watch­ing snooker over the last few days in the evening to take my mind off things.

“I’m try­ing not to think about the top 25 at the mo­ment as I can’t con­trol what other play­ers are do­ing, I can only try and con­trol how I play and we’ll see where it all ends up at the end of the week.”

Poke fin­ished two shots clear of his near­est ri­val Lars van Mei­jel while In­dia’s S.S.P Chawra­sia and Toby Tree of Eng­land are third.

Jamie Don­ald­son, who won the Ry­der Cup for Europe in 2014, was forced to with­draw af­ter two rounds while Italy’s Mat­teo Manassero, the for­mer world No. 25, is set to miss the cut.

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