Heath leads the Qualifiers home from Las Colinas

05/11/2013 17:45:36
James Heath and Brandon Stone  (EuropeanTour)
James Heath and Brandon Stone (EuropeanTour)

Despite enduring a difficult final day at Las Colinas Golf & Country Club, James Heath still led 17 qualifiers home as the European Tour Qualifying School Second Stage came to a close at the Alicante venue.

The Englishman, who held a substantial lead overnight, signed off with a round of 75, but that closing effort was still good enough to finish top of the pile on 15 under par.

Heath was followed home by rising South African star Brandon Stone, who closed with a 69 for a 14 under par aggregate total.

Welshman Liam Bond (13 under), England’s James Robinson (12 under) and American John Hahn (11 under) rounded out the top five.

The qualifying mark fell on two under par, with six players contesting a play-off for the last four places in the Final Stage.  

The Swedish duo of Oscar Floren and Joakim Rask emerged triumphant alongside German amateur Christopher Dammert and Spaniard Alfredo Garcia-Heredia, with France’s Michael Lorenzo-Vera and Germany’s Max Glauert the men to miss out – although they could still make the Final Stage as Alternates, in the event of injuries or withdrawals.

At Campo de Golf El Saler, home favourite Carlos del Moral romped to victory by five shots after signing off with a round of 71 for an eight under par aggregate total.

England’s Jason Barnes finished second on three under par, one shot ahead of Frenchman Thomas Linard and Italian Niccolo Quintarelli.

With 18 players progressing from El Saler, there was a five-way play-off for the final two spots after Jerome Casanova, Christophe Brazillier, Matthias Grönberg, Chris Lloyd and Andrey Pavlov all finished on three over par.

The two who prevailed were Casanova, courtesy of birdie at the first extra hole, and Grönberg, who eventually saw off Lloyd on the sixth extra hole.    

Meanwhile, over at Valle Romano Golf in Estepona, the third round was finally completed with Frenchman Edouard Espana leading the way on 12 under par.

High winds had forced officials to suspend play on Monday, but Espana made the most of the calmer conditions on Tuesday to lead by two strokes from Australian Scott Arnold and Sweden’s Alexander Björk, who posted respective rounds of 69 and 68.

The fourth round will be completed on Wednesday, as will the final round at Lumine Golf & Beach Club, where high winds forced a suspension at 12.55pm. Play resumed at 4.15pm but was again halted 25 minutes later, meaning the hopefuls will have to return to the course at 9am in a bid to secure one of the 18 Final Stage spots on offer at the Tarragona venue.