Connor Syme has breezed the first significant test of his six-round examination at the European Tour’s Qualifying School final and now looks to pass with flying colours over the next two days.
The Drumoig player, only a professional for two months, is tied for sixth place at 11-under after four rounds at Lumine Golf Club in Tarragona, Spain, after following up his best-of-the-week 63 on Monday with a five-under 67 on the Hills course yesterday.
It means that the 22-year-old’s first target for the week has been made comfortably – making the four-round cut at the Q School Final means securing at least a full category to play the Challenge Tour next season –but he’s also in great position for the primary target, one of the 25 European Tour cards on offer.
With 36 holes to play, Syme is four off the lead held by England’s Sam Horsfield but as significantly with a four-shot cushion on 25th place.
For the second day in succession Connor had no bogeys, and is 13-under for his last 36 holes.
The Fifer turned pro after playing for Great Britain and Ireland in the Walker Cup in September. He’s made three cuts in three European Tour events on invitations and has two top 15 finishes already, at the Portuguese Masters and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Connor’s fellow Scot and GB&I team mate Robert MacIntyre is also into the last two rounds, although he slipped out of the top 25 after a third successive 71 yesterday.
The 21-year-old left-hander from the Glencruitten club in Oban has played only two pro events but won the second of them, on the minor MENA Tour.
If Syme and MacIntyre can join Challenge Tour graduate Bradley Neil through the Q School route it will mean three Scots at 22 or under with European Tour cards.
Also into the final two rounds are Aberdeen’s David Law, who is right on the cusp of a big tour card for the third year in a row, lying tied for 25th on seven-under.
The former double Scottish Amateur champion missed by just two shots in 2015 and had a bad final round last year to drop him out of contention when he was close to a qualifying place.
Scott Henry, who successfully qualified for the big tour through Q School last year, is aiming to do so again after an outstanding comeback from his first round 78 at Lumine.
The Clydebank player, now 30, rebounded with 10-under figures for his next 54 holes to make the cut on three-under. Henry had a poor season on the main tour and was forced to return to Q School.
There was disappointment for other contenders including former Walker Cup players Ewen Ferguson, who missed the 72-hole cut by only a shot, and Grant Forrest, who missed out by two.