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Putting along

Top-ranked European Challenge Tour golfer Ricardo Santos put in an uncharacteristically mediocre performance at the Kazakhstan Open prior to his forthcoming appearance at the Portuguese National Championships.

The 29-year-old Vale do Lobo pro carded rounds of 73 and 69 to make the cut but then slumped to a three-over-par 75 followed by a closing 72 to finish joint 51st behind winner Tommy Fleetwood from England.

Nonetheless, the Algarvean is virtually assured qualification for next season’s European Tour proper with only six tournaments of his present schedule remaining.