After the cut line fell at European Tour Qualifying School Final Stage, 32 European Challenge Tour players remain in the hunt to secure their European Tour cards for the 2020 season at Lumine Golf Club.
Benjamin Poke, who finished 29th on the Road to Mallorca Rankings, held a three-shot advantage over the field at the beginning of round five following four consecutive sub-70 rounds. The Dane has highlighted the strength of his game during an impressive first full season on the Challenge Tour, where he has recorded five top ten finishes, including a tie for third place at his home tournament, Made in Denmark Challenge - Presented by FREJA.
Of the 77 players to progress through to the final two rounds on the Lakes Course, four players have captured Challenge Tour titles this season, including Dutchman Lars van Meijel, who secured his maiden title at the Hopps Open de Provence, and England’s Dale Whitnell who also enjoyed a breakthrough victory at the KPMG Trophy.
The 2019 Vierumäki Finnish Challenge Champion José-Filipe Lima, from Portugal, and Steven Tiley, who celebrated his first Challenge Tour win at Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge in France this July, have also kept their European Tour dreams alive after successfully navigating the first four days of the gruelling six-day contest. Tiley looked destined to miss the cut after a disappointing third round but turned his fortunes around with five consecutive back nine birdies in a round of 66, five under par, on day four to ensure he will see out the duration of the tournament.
Robin Sciot-Siegrist, meanwhile, is looking to turn heartbreak into euphoria just over a week after narrowly missing out on his European Tour playing privileges at the Challenge Tour Grand Final, in Mallorca. The Frenchman climbed the Road to Mallorca Rankings after finishing in a tie for second in the season finale at Club de Golf Alcanada, but had to settle for 16th position on the Rankings, one place short of the 15 automatic promotion spots, after his birdie putt to climb into the coveted graduation places shaved the edge of the hole.
Scot Ewen Ferguson is also in the mix to secure on of the 25 European Tour cards up for grabs at Lumine Golf Club after racing up the leaderboard with a scintillating eight under par round of 64 on the Hills Course on day four. He was one of several players who demonstrated their mettle as the cut line loomed, with England’s Marcus Armitage also going low on day four with a bogey free 65, six under par, on the Lakes Course to jump into the top ten.
As the battle for a European Tour card heats up over the final two days, the 77 remaining players can continue the contest safe in the knowledge they have already secured playing privileges on the Challenge Tour for 2020, with all 77 players receiving cards to compete on the Road to Mallorca next season.