Jamie McLeary lands European tour card

Jamie McLeary. Picture: (Phil Inglis Getty Images)
Jamie McLeary. Picture: (Phil Inglis Getty Images)
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THE Lothians-based contingent on the European Tour has increased to four after Jamie McLeary secured his card for the 2014 season.

The 32-year-old, who lives in Bonnyrigg, secured his place alongside Stephen Gallacher, Richie Ramsay and David Drysdale after a dramatic end to the Challenge Tour campaign.

Finishing joint-second in the Dubai Festival City Grand Final hosted by Al Badia Golf Club gained McLeary, who is attached to Marriott Dalmahoy, the 15th and final card after a jump of 18 spots.

“I’m delighted,” admitted the former Scottish Challenge winner. “I started to worry that I would never make it to the European Tour, that I was one of those guys that was really consistent but without the big finishes at the big events that I needed. It has taken a lot longer than I thought it would, and the older you get the more nervous you get, but I’ve got my chance and I’m confident I’ll take it.”

McLeary finished four shots adrift of eventual winner Shiv Kapur, who was the only other man to jump into the top 15, having come from 20th position at the start of the week to also earn a European Tour card.

Meanwhile, Lothians trio Raymond Russell, Gareth Wright and Neil Fenwick were all on course at the halfway stage in their bids to secure 2014 cards through the Qualifying School.

Russell, a former European Tour winner, was tied for second in the second stage at Lumine Golf in Tarragone after opening rounds of 67 and 68, while Wright was 16th at Las Colinas following 69 and 71.

Fenwick was lying third following opening efforts of 70 and 68 at El Saler in Valencia, where Lloyd Saltman (145) and Paul Ferrier (147) both needed good third rounds today to get into the mix.