11 professionals and one amateur from Ireland began the latest step in their quests to earn a European Tour card as Stage Two of Qualifying School teed off across four venues in Spain
Conor O’Rourke was the pick of the Irish dozen, blasting his way out of the traps with a barnstorming seven-under par round of 64 at Las Colinas.
Trying to make up for lost time after an injury plagued season, the Naas professional was bogey-free and sets the bar at seven-under par after a superb opening display.
Meanwhile Ballymoney’s Michael Hoey recovered from being three-over after two holes to return a one-under par round of 70 that’s good enough for a share of 40th. Whitehead’s John Ross Galbraith has work to do after a one-over par 74.
At Club de Bonmont, Tarragona, Tramore’s Robin Dawson roared into some timely form to share the lead on five-under par after day one.
Dawson fired five birdies and an eagle in a welcomed round of 67 to position himself perfectly after the opening day’s play.
After missing out on graduating to the Challenge Tour via the EuroPro circuit, Clandeboye’s Jonathan Caldwell also enjoyed forward progress at Bonmont.
The 35-year old carded four birdies in a two-under par 70 to sit in a tie for 7th overnight.
Tyler Hogarty (+1) and Rosapenna’s Ruaidhri McGee (+2) have work to do from outside the top-40 on the leaderboard after a scorable day in Bonmont.
At Alenda Golf in Alicante, Royal Dublin’s Niall Kearney set the standard amongst Ireland’s quartet of hopefuls.
The experienced Dubliner traded four birdies and three bogeys for a one-under par 71 opening day tally to share 20th heading into day two.
Shannon’s Daniel Brennan remains in touch, albeit with work to do from tied 50th after a day one plus-two round of 74. Galway amateur, Ronan Mullarney ground out a hard-fought 77 with just one birdie on the card while Kilkenny’s Luke Donnelly is down near the foot of the board after a disappointing 79.
And perhaps the form man of Ireland’s travelling 12-pack, Castleknock’s David Carey endured a bit of a struggle at Desert Springs, posting a four-over par round of 76 to be trailing the leaders by a whopping 13 shots after round one.
Class resumes on Friday with no cut in operation, where 331 players, a field of 82 or 83 at each site will vie for their place at Lumine from November 15-20 where 156 players will compete over six rounds in a bid to secure one of 25 precious European Tour cards.
Alenda Golf HERE
Desert Springs HERE
Los Colinas HERE