Friday, 14 September 2012
Edouard Espana  (EuropeanTour)
Edouard Espana (EuropeanTour)

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French amateur Edouard Espana led the 18 qualifiers  from the First Qualifying Stage – Section A at Ebreichsdorf after securing his passage to the next stage with a three shot victory.

Espana shot a final round of 68 at Golfclub Schloss Ebreichsdorf, which included an eagle and four birdies, to finish at 12 under par and three clear of Sweden’s Krister Eriksson.

Three Austrians – Rene Gruber, Jurgen Maurer and amateur Lucas Nemecz - were among the 18 who  progressed to the Second Qualifying Stage, which will be held across four venues in Spain in November, while another notable qualifier was American amateur Jim Liu, who will be part of the United States Junior Ryder Cup team in ten days.

Swede Niclas Johansson made the biggest advance of the final day, shooting a closing 65 to climb 18 places into tenth and move onto the Second Qualifying Stage.

Meanwhile, Mark Staunton cruised to victory by eight shots in The European Tour Qualifying School First Stage at the Roxburghe Hotel and Golf Course.

The Irishman closed with a round of 71 in Kelso, the Scottish borders, to finish on 12 under par, with his compatriot Peter O’Keefe taking second place on four under par after posting a round of 73.

One shot back, George Thacker completed the top three qualifiers after the Englishman signed off with a round of 71.

A total of ten players progressed to the Second Stage, due to be held next month in southern Spain, with the Scottish duo of Scott Henderson (73) and Craig Matheson (68) and Ireland’s Mark Murphy (72) taking the last three places on three over par.

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