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Opportunity knocks for Niall Kearney in Mallorca Open as Dubliner chasing European Tour card

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Niall Kearney. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Niall Kearney. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Niall Kearney. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Niall Kearney returns to action after a frustrating month-long break looking to secure his European Tour card in the Mallorca Golf Open.

Ranked 130th in the Race to Dubai with only the top 123 guaranteed full cards next season, the Dubliner (33) has a chance to round off a great season with just three events of the campaign remaining.

He’s joined at Golf Santa Ponsa by Jonathan Caldwell, Cormac Sharvin, Gavin Moynihan and Paul Dunne looking to make up for lost time.

Meanwhile, John Murphy faces a nervous wait after a five-over 76 left him perched on the cut line in the weather-delayed Challenge Costa Brava at Emporda Golf.

The Kinsale star (23), who likely needs a top-three finish to qualify for next month’s Challenge Tour Grand Final, was tied 60th on two-over, 12 strokes behind Portugal’s Ricard Gouveia with Michael Hoey 27th on one-under after a 71.

In South Korea, Leona Maguire must finish in the top six in this week’s BMW Ladies Championship if she’s to deny Major winner Patty Tavatanakit the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award.

Winner of the ANA Inspiration, Tavatanakit leads the Cavan star by 360 points but does not compete this week.

On the PGA Tour, Olympic champion Xander Schauffele returns to Japan for the first time since winning gold with his sights set on the Zozo Championship and his first PGA Tour success for 33 months. 

Elsewhere, Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy is tied for 43rd after opening with a four-over 76 in the Europro Tour’s Matchroom Tour Championship at Slaley Hall.

Ranked fifth in the Order of Merit with the top five after tomorrow’s final round earning strong Challenge Tour status next season, McElroy is nine behind Scotland’s Jack McDonald, whose five-under 67 gave him a one-shot lead over William Harrold, Curtis Knipes, Dan Brown and David Wicks.

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In the Irish Senior Men’s Amateur Open, England’s Stuart Brown recovered from bogeys at the second and 12th holes by making three birdies in a row from the 13th to open with a one-under 72 at Donegal’s Murvagh.

He leads by just one stroke from Castlerock’s David Mulholland, this year’s Senior Amateur Championship runner-up at Ganton, with Scot Derek Paton third after a 75.

Zozo Championship

Live, Sky Sports, 5.0am

Mallorca Golf Open

Live, Sky Sports, 12.30


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