Golf star Ben Evans is one step away from securing a coveted European Tour card for next season.
The Staplecross-based professional came through stage two of the tour’s Qualifying School yesterday (Wednesday) to book his place in the final stage.
A top 30 finish in the gruelling six-round event at PGA Golf de Catalunya in Spain which starts on Sunday would earn Evans a place alongside some of the sport’s leading lights on the European Tour in 2014.
Having come tied second in stage one last month, Evans finished in a share of fourth place in the second stage tournament at Lumine Golf & Beach Club, also in Spain, with a nine-under-par four-round total of 275. The 17 players at six under or better progressed.
Evans began with a one under 70 on Sunday containing four birdies before surging up the leaderboard with a superb second round 66 featuring seven birdies.
A third round 68 which included five birdies left the 26-year-old tied third on nine under and he remained on the same mark after a closing 71 highlighted by three birdies. The final round, in fact, was held over two days after high winds forced play to be suspended.
Evans, of Sedlescombe and Rye Golf Clubs, has already secured a return to the European Challenge Tour for 2014 after finishing fourth on the Alps Tour order of merit.
St Leonards-based Luke Cornford, of Cooden Beach Golf Club, produced a very creditable performance to come tied 31st in the second stage event at Valle Romano Golf - four shots outside the qualifying places.
Cornford began with a one over 72 containing three birdies before firing four birdies in a second round 69. He then carded a front nine of 32 and back nine of 41 in a third round 73, but closed with a splendid bogey-free 67 for a three-under-par total of 281.