Sharvin staying on track for European Tour card
Ardglass's Cormac Sharvin took another big step towards winning his European Tour card when he finished a brilliant third in the Hauts de France - Pas de Calais Golf Open.
Frenchman Robin Roussel went the entire weekend without dropping a shot to secure his first European Challenge Tour victory at Aa Saint-Omer, carding a five-under 66 to win by two from England's Richard Bland on 13-under par.
Sharvin (26) closed with a 68 to finish alone in third on seven-under, one stroke ahead of overnight leader Daan Huizing.
As a result, Sharvin picked up €13,300 to move up from 14th to sixth in the Challenge Tour Rankings with the top 15 earning promotion to the European Tour at the end of the season.
Derry's Ruaidhri McGee leapt 29 places to 29th, despite carding a 73 to tie for eighth on three-under.
Paris native Roussel (25) moved up to the fourth and now has his sights firmly locked on finishing the season in the top 15.
"I've been thinking about my European Tour card since the start of the season," he said. "I knew my game was getting better and better."
The Challenge Tour now travels to Spain for this week's Andalucia - Costa del Sol Match Play 9.
Meanwhile, Portmarnock's Conor Purcell heads a 21-strong Irish challenge when the Amateur Championship gets under way at The Island and Portmarnock today.
The top 64 after two strokeplay qualifying rounds will qualify for the matchplay stages at Portmarnock from Wednesday and Purcell (20) is looking to improve on his run to the semi-finals at Royal Aberdeen last year.
Reece Black, Naas' Robert Brazill, Balbriggan's Robbie Cannon, Portmarnock's James Fox and Geoff Lenehan, Waterford's éanna Griffin, Wentworth's Eoin Leonard, Oughterard's Devin Morley, Galway's Ronan Mullarney, Douglas' Peter O'Keeffe and Mallow's James Sugrue get their challenge under way at Portmarnock.
But Purcell begins his quest at The Island where Dundalk's Caolan Rafferty, Warrenpoint's Colm Campbell, Dún Laoghaire's Alan Fahy, Co Sligo's TJ Ford, Hermitage's Rowan Lester, Kinsale's John Murphy, Holywood's Tom McKibbin, Massereene's Tiarnan McLarnon, Castle's Robert Moran and The Links Portmarnock's Eugene Smith also start.