GIRONA, Spain -- Estanislao "Tano" Goya clung on to his lead in the final stage of European Tour Q-School on Sunday, but the Argentine’s advantage was cut to just one stroke as several of his nearest rivals profited from more benign playing conditions during Day 2 at PGA Catalunya Resort.
The 156-man field is split over the resort’s Stadium Course and Tour Course over the first four days, playing two rounds on each before a cut at 70 plus ties precedes the final 36 holes on the Stadium Course. A total of 25 cards for 2013 are up for grabs.
Playing the more demanding Stadium Course, Goya struggled to replicate his opening-day heroics, but a round of 71 was just enough to maintain his lead a third of the way through the six-day examination.
The 2009 Madeira Islands Open champion moved to 7 under par courtesy of birdies at the first, second and 15th holes, which cancelled out his pair of dropped shots either side of the turn.
Goya cited a wayward driver as the main reason for his inconsistent display, but the 24-year-old’s scrambling skills came to the rescue.
“I’m very happy with my score, because I didn’t hit many fairways today,” he said. “To have an under-par round was very good, especially on the Stadium Course, considering I was not very accurate from the tee.
“Golf is like that sometimes, so you just have to keep hanging in there and try to improve tomorrow. Yesterday was really good, and although I didn’t hit the driver very well today, I still hit some good shots. I hit my irons very well and was always on or just around the green, so I didn’t have any real disasters.
“I haven’t been playing well lately, so being here is a consequence of that and I have to accept it. But I have a chance here and I’ll try to make the most of it, so that I can get back playing where I know I belong.”
There is a whole host of players in hot pursuit of the leader, including Frenchman Anthony Snobeck, who started the week on the reserve list but gained an 11th-hour entry after a series of withdrawals.
He was joined on 6 under par by Italy’s Matteo Delpodio, Mikko Korhonen of Finland, Swede Mikael Lundberg and Scotsman Gary Orr.