Jack Doherty, inspired by the resilience and patience of European Tour late bloomers and compatriots Chris Doak and Jamie McLeary, launched himself into contention for promotion to the top tier after a four under third round of 66 moved the Scotsman into the top five at Qualifying School Final Stage.
The Kilmarnock man has never played on The European Tour in his ten years as a professional but he has moved right into position for a rookie season in The Race to Dubai after carding five birdies and just a single bogey on the Tour Course at PGA Catalunya Resort, near Girona in northern Spain.
That left him just two shots off the lead held by Englishman James Morrison and Sweden’s Jens Dantorp and in a strong position to claim one of the European Tour cards awarded to the top 25 and ties at the conclusion of the gruelling six-round marathon.
Doherty has Neil Easton, who caddied for Doak this year as he retained his European Tour card for the 2014 season, on the bag this and has also been inspired by his good friend McLeary.
McLeary provided one of the fairytale stories of the European Challenge Tour season as he graduated at the death by claiming the last of the 15 cards on offer at the conclusion of the Grand Final in Dubai, earning a rookie season on The European Tour after seven years on the second tier.
“I'm older and wiser now,” said the 31 year old. “I try not to beat myself up out on the course because it’s a nerve-wracking week for everybody but I need to stay as calm as I can. I play my best when I'm relaxed and it’s good to have Neil on the bag because he’s been there and done it with Chris on The European Tour this year.
“It helps having him. I feel like I'm ready to step up now and Neil knows how Chris has done it and how he went through it so he realised keeping me relaxed is a big thing.
“Jamie definitely gave me inspiration too. I grew up with Jamie all through the amateur game and was with him on the Challenge Tour and he put in the hard graft and has been rewarded for it so it does show you that it is possible and if you keep doing it you’ll get your rewards.
“I think it naturally plays on your mind if you’ll ever do it but if you keep believing in it there’s always a chance.
“I feel comfortable this week. I came into this on the back of good form at second stage and I've just been hitting all the targets so I'm very happy.”