Benjamin Poke takes control of European Tour Q-School 

Denmark’s Benjamin Poke is in control of the European Tour Qualifying School at the halfway stage. The 27-year-old takes a two-shot lead into the final three days at Lumine Golf Club in Tarragona, Spain. The Danish professional is hoping to take the lead card of the 25 on offer for the 2020 European Tour.

Poke had four birdies and only one bogey in a 3-under par round of 69 on Lumine Golf Club’s Hills Course. He sits at 12-under par.

Lars van Meijel of The Netherlands lies in second place after a 7-under 65 that included six birdies and an eagle-two on the Hills Course’s par four 12th hole.

“It was nice to finish with a flurry of birdies at the end,” Poke said. “I was hitting greens from the start but leaving myself some long putts. By the time I got to the back nine, I was striking them better and hitting my approach shots a bit closer and I managed to take advantage of that over the closing holes.

“I haven’t really looked at the scoreboards this week or checked online after the round to see how I’m doing. I’ve been watching snooker over the last few days in the evening to take my mind off things.”

“It’s a new day tomorrow so I’m just going to try and approach things the same way, enjoy being out here playing. I’m looking forward to going out there and playing the next few days. I’m trying not to think about the top 25 at the moment as I can’t control what other players are doing. I can only try and control how I play, and we’ll see where it all ends up at the end of the week.”

Van Meijel is making his first appearance at Final stage, but looked comfortable in his surroundings on day three.

“It’s the first time I’ve played in Final Stage and it’s absurd to think there are still three rounds to go,” he said. “I’ll just keep playing one shot at a time, keep it relaxed and chilled, and then we’ll see.

“I feel confident. I’m just focussing on myself and trying to play the best golf I can. Then we’ll see where I end up.

“I made some small changes in the way I practice with a new coach and also, my childhood technical coach has made some small changes which have also clicked. I’m just trying to get better every day.”

First round leader John Catlin returned a second consecutive 73. The former University of New Mexico player sits on 4 under in a tie for 34th spot.

The top 70 and ties after the fourth round advance to the final two rounds, with the top 25 and ties after round six earning playing rights for the 2020 European Tour.

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