Capital star Euan McIntosh passed part one of his bid to secure a card for the Staysure Seniors Tour with flying colours in Portugal.
He claimed a share of top spot in a stage-one event at Gramacho Golf Club and will be the only amateur involved in this week’s four-round final.
McIntosh, who has been gearing up for a crack at the seniors circuit over the past couple of years, carded rounds of 68 and 70 for a two-under total, matching the efforts of Canadian David Morland and American John Inman.
The final, which gets underway today at Pestana Golf Resort, involves 76 players, with only five cards for the 2019 schedule up for grabs.
Former Dalmahoy director of golf Alan Tait was unable to join McIntosh in that shoot-out after falling three shots short in his stage-one event.
On the European Tour, Capital-based Richie Ramsay was left feeling as though he’d been “dragged through a hedge backwards” after a frustrating final round in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
The 35-year-old slipped 30 spots – the same he had moved in the opposite direction on the back of a bogey-free 67 on Saturday – as he signed off with a three-over 75.
That left him in a tie for joint-56th on five-under, having closed with a similarly disappointing 76 when ending up 69th in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship last week.
“It is really disappointing and I’m thinking, ‘how the hell did I shoot three-over’,” declared Ramsay. “It feels as if I have been dragged through a hedge backwards. That’s two weeks in a row where I’ve suffered in a final round and I honestly don’t know why.”
In an event won by American Bryson DeChambeau, two-time winner Stephen Gallacher signed off by making an eagle and six birdies, the only disappointment being that he had to settle for a 70 to finish in a tie for 67th on two-under.
“I played s*** on Friday but, apart from that, I played okay and my good stuff is brilliant,” he said.