Olivia Mehaffey produced a stunning finish to stay around the very top of the leaderboard at the midway point of the Ladies European Tour Q School’s pre-qualifier.
The Scarva star looked to be slipping down into the pack, three over for the day after 11 holes of La Manga’s North Course but was four under for her last seven holes to get in under par for the day and -3 for the week.
That was enough to place Mehaffey, who recently missed out on LPGA Tour qualifying, fourth on the leaderboard and with a huge ten shot cushion to the 75th place limit of golfers that will progress to next week’s final qualifying event.
It’s a remarkable performance for the 24 year-old, whose father Philip passed away last Friday after a long battle with cancer.
That she is competing – and so well - in Portugal as she prepares to enter her first full season as a professional is fulfilling her father’s wishes.
"Philip said to the doctors and nurses with typical humour just last week that they were to 'make sure that girl goes to Spain'," former David Kearney, part of Mehaffey's management team at Sigmoid Sports, told Brian Keogh.
Also giving herself a good chance of making it to next week’s final qualifying is Clandeboye’s Victoria Craig, who added a three over par second round on the South Course to her two over opening round to sit at +5.
That was enough for a share of 53rd and two shots inside the mark as the final Friday starters entered their back nines.
Leader Lisa Pettersson (Sweden) was three under par for her second round to reach seven under par and stretch the gap at the top to three clear shots.
There is no cut in this week’s preliminary round, while the top 20 at next week’s final will gain category 11 status on next season’s Ladies’ European Tour.
Mehaffey has already gained status in the feeder Symetra Tour for next year thanks to her performance in LPGA Tour Q-School.