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Ian Poulter's protégé Sam Horsfield leads Q-School

Sam Horsfield

Sam Horsfield, a protégé of Ian Poulter, looks set to follow his idol onto the European Tour after opening up a one-shot lead at Q-School with two rounds to go.

The 21-year-old, who turned down the opportunity to represent GB&I at the Walker Cup in 2015, carded his fourth consecutive round in the 60s at Lumine to sit on 15-under-par – currently seven shots clear of the top 25.

"He is without doubt the finest young golfer I have ever seen," said Poulter of Horsfield some seven years ago and, in heading a group of 20 English players at the gruelling six-day event, he is certainly living up to that hype.

Ben Evans

English stars lead the way

While Horsfield is at the summit, another seven Englishmen are currently projected to get their European Tour cards should they remain in the top 25.

Charlie Ford shot the lowest round of the day - a seven-under-par 64 on the Lakes Course - to move up 11 places to second and a shot behind Horsfield, with 6ft 9in Jonathan Thomson and Ben Evans (above) two shots further back.

Matthew Baldwin, a Q-School Second Stage winner, is T7 on ten-under-par, while overnight leader Laurie Canter has fallen ten spots to T11 after a four-over-par 75. Alongside him on nine-under-par is James Heath.

Other English players looking for a strong finish to the event are Mark Foster and Tom Murray (T15, -8), Tom Lewis and Nathan Kimsey (T25, -7), Matthew Nixon (T35, -6), Ross McGowan (T45, -5), Chris Lloyd, Paul Howard and Paul Maddy (T50, -4), Steven Tiley (T59, -3) and Steve Webster, Simon Khan and Marcus Armitage (T67, -2).

Connor Syme1

Syme's surge continues

Connor Syme has gone 13-under-par for his past 36 holes to surge up more than 80 places in the Q-School leaderboard.

The 22-year-old, who made such an impressive professional debut at the Portugal Masters in September, followed up an eight-under-par 63 on the Lakes Course yesterday with a five-under-par 67 on the Hills Course to move up to T6 on 11-under-par - just four off the lead.

He leads a quartet of Scots to have made the cut, with David Law (T25, -7), Robert MacIntyre (T35, -6) and Scott Henry (T67, -2) also progressing. It was heartbreak for Ewen Ferguson and Ross Kellett though, who both finished one shot outside the cut line.

Meanwhile, Gavin Moynihan is the sole Irishman to make it through on ten-under-par (T8), while Stuart Manley is Wales' only representative in the final two rounds, sitting T35 on six-under-par.

High-profile names missing the cut

Johan Carlsson (-1)
Richard Green (E)
Oliver Wilson (E)
Hennie Otto (+1)
Niclas Fasth (+2)
Simon Dyson (+3)
Chris Doak (+5)
Duncan Stewart (+13)


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