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European Tour card in Thornton's sights after Spain form

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Simon Thornton carded three birdies in an outward half of 33 yesterday, hit another birdie on the 15th and dropped his only stroke of the day at the 17th. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

Simon Thornton carded three birdies in an outward half of 33 yesterday, hit another birdie on the 15th and dropped his only stroke of the day at the 17th. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

Simon Thornton carded three birdies in an outward half of 33 yesterday, hit another birdie on the 15th and dropped his only stroke of the day at the 17th. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

Northern Irishman Simon Thornton made an impressive start at the weekend to his bid to regain his European Tour card.

The 37-year-old from Newcastle, Co Down, who won the St Omar Challenge Tour event in 2013, started on the Tour course at the Catalunya Resort in Spain in the final qualifying school on Saturday with a two under par 68. He followed that up yesterday on the tougher Stadium course with a three under par 69 for a 137 aggregate.

Thornton carded three birdies in an outward half of 33 yesterday, hit another birdie on the 15th and dropped his only stroke of the day at the 17th.

Peter Lawrie had a fine 67 on the Tour course yesterday but that should have been considerably better - a triple bogey seven was a major disappointment but he is still very much in the hunt for a card with four rounds remaining in the qualifying school.

Lawrie had four birdies on the homeward stretch yesterday and his 67 was needed as he had slipped to a 71 on Saturday although that did include an eagle three on the third.

Former Walker Cup player Kevin Phelan has recorded rounds of 69 and 72 and needs to step up a gear over the next four days if he is to secure a card.

He never really got going yesterday and had three bogeys - two on the way out and one coming home - and he is now eight strokes off the pace.

Michael McGeady, who has fought his way through two qualifying stages, is really struggling on 146 - four over par - and needs a real change of fortunes if he is to get his card.

Just ahead of McGeady is Gareth Maybin, who had two double bogeys yesterday in his 71 on the Tour course which followed a 75 on the Stadium layout.

Leading the way after round two is Anurban Lahiri, who is on 133, nine under par.

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