French golfers stole the honours in the European Tour’s Qualifying School, Second Stage, with Christian Cevaer sharing No.1 place at Emporda and Jean-Francois Lucquin winning outright at Paralada, while Spain’s Carlos Rodiles and Juan Quiros led the list of 29 qualifiers at Pals.
Cevaer, who began with rounds of 64 and 66 and 68, closed with a 71 for a 15 under par total of 269, the same score as Sweden’s Peter Malmgren. Both players were awarded joint top ranking while Justin Rose and Mark Pilkington shared third spot on 272.
Rose, who finished fourth in the 1998 Open Championship, had five birdies in a final round of 67 to ensure a return to San Roque for the Final Qualifying School next month.
Benn Barham of England shot a final 65 to fight his way into a play-off for 28th and 29th positions. He then made a par at the first extra hole as did Mark Smith of England, leaving Nick Ludwell as first alternate after a bogey.
At Peralada, Lucquin finished with a 67 for 217, to be one ahead of England’s Kenneth Ferrie, who carded the same last round.
Scott Henderson of Aberdeen, the European Tour Rookie of the Year two seasons ago, ended the week with a 73 but finished comfortably in a tie for sixth place.
Graham Rankin, one of Britain’s Walker Cup heroes against the United States in September, recovered from his bad start to close with a 67 to tie for 11th place on 281.
The Spanish were celebrating at Pals as Rodiles and 43 year old Quiros took top honours on 277. Rodiles shot a 67 and Quiros a 71 to finish a stroke ahead of James Hepworth of England.
South African Trevor Immelman, who played in all four rounds of the Masters at Augusta National, was fourth after a 67.