McCarthy goes fishing after landing a place

Simon Mccarthy finished as the leading qualifier after the final day of the European Tour qualifying school at here, then left for a spot of fishing.

Simon Mccarthy finished as the leading qualifier after the final day of the European Tour qualifying school at here, then left for a spot of fishing.

A closing 69 for 276 - 12 under par - saw the 25-year-old Devonian finish three strokes clear of his nearest challenger, the Suffolk-based Jon Bevan and five ahead of Sweden's Peter Grimfjord and Oscar Serna from Mexico.

Although McCarthy went into the final round two shots clear, his lead disappeared after a poor start. "I three-putted the first for bogey then just salvaged pars at the next few holes," he said. "The turning point came at the 6th even though my nine-iron approach wasn't great, finishing 50 feet away. But I holed that for birdie and that always eases the nerves."

At the 9th he did well to get up and down from a bunker to save par to be out in level-par 36. But the inward half was completely different.

"I had a solid back nine," he said. "I birdied the 11th, 13th and 15th and hit one poor shot when I missed the green at 17. But even then I managed to pitch to six feet and holed it for par.

"It's nice to finish top, but the main thing is to qualify. Now I'm driving back to Devon to spend the weekend fishing. I'm going to give the carp a run for their money."

Bevan, who knows the Five Lakes course well, closed with 70 for 279 and second place. It is the third time he has qualified here.

A total of 29 players on two-under-par 286 or better qualified for the second stage in Spain in November, including the Irishman Richard Coughlan. The ex-Walker Cup man went into the final day on two over par but staged a remarkable recovery with six birdies in a 67 to qualify on three-under 285.

Two amateurs also made it, Matthew King from Lincolnshire on 284 and Iceland's Olafur Sigurdsson on 285.

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