Duncan Stewart produced one of the best shots of his career when he needed it most as the Kirkliston-based golfer boosted his hopes of hanging on to a European Tour card.
The 33-year-old was facing an early exit in the British Masters before he eagled the par-5 sixth, his 15th hole in the second round, at Close House in Northumberland.
That timely boost enabled Stewart to card a three-under 67 for a two-under total, making it into the final 36 holes in the Sky Sports-supported event on the cut mark.
“I knew I needed something like that as I was struggling,” he admitted afterwards. “I’d hit a horrendous shot at the hole before and was lucky not to go in the water.
“I probably hit the best drive all day at the sixth, which is uphill from tee to green, then one of best 5-woods I’ve ever hit and rolled it in for the eagle.”
Stewart was equally pleased with the par he finished with after finding himself having to get down in two from 60 feet to stay in the event.
“I left myself with a five-footer after the first putt and was thinking, ‘you’ve ground it out over two days and going to miss this’ but, fortunately, I rolled it in,” he said, smiling.
Stewart is sitting 123rd in the Race to Dubai and needs to be in the top 100 at the end of the regular part of the European Tour season to hang on to his playing rights.
A decent cheque here wouldn’t go amiss and he’s now into both the Dunhill Links next week and also the Valderrama Masters after that.
“Every day, especially last Sunday after missing the cut,” he replied to being asked how often he finds himself checking the Race to Dubai standings.
“Last week after missing the cut in Portugal, I was watching myself tumble and that’s not a nice feeling. I’ve got to somehow get into the top 20 or top 10 here then do something in the Dunhill or the event in Spain. There’s always a Scot who does well in the Dunhill to keep his card and I’m hoping that’s going to be me this year.”
Sitting just outside the top 10, Capital-based Richie Ramsay led six Scots into the final two rounds, with Stephen Gallacher also progressing thanks to a late eagle-3.