Ronan Mullarney and Daniel Brennan fired four-under par rounds at their respective qualifying venues to lead the Irish charge at Final Stage EuroPro Tour Q-School.
Two rounds will decide the 80 players to make the final day cut with 192 battling it out over two days at Studley Wood Golf Club and The Oxfordshire Golf, Hotel and Spa with the opening round now complete.
Galway professional Mullarney was lining out at Studley Wood where he fired six birdies and two bogeys in a round of 69 to share 19th place overnight.
At Oxfordshire, Shannon’s Daniel Brennan mirrored Mullarney’s numbers, carding six birdies and two bogeys of his own in a four-under 68.
The pair will swap venues on Thursday and head the 12-strong Irish contingent with plenty of live chances hoping to muscle their way inside the top-80 ahead of round two.
At two-under par and in a share of 53rd is The Island’s Paul McBride who played round one at Oxfordshire while Tullamore’s Stuart Grehan and K Club professional Conor O’Rourke managed two under par efforts of their own at Studley Wood.
Cork’s John Hickey is inside the top-80 in a share of 75th after a one-under round at Oxfordshire and is tied with St Annes Cameron Raymond who also returned a 71 at the venue.
Eoin Leonard, Brendan McCarroll and Tom McKibbin (a) are in the group at even par while the likes of Luke Donnelly (+3) and Conor Purcell (+4) will need a major turnaround if they’re to force their way into the final round reckoning.
Meanwhile, at Studley, Sam Broadhurst signed for a 67 to be in contention at the top end along with Thomas Higson (The Gleneagles Hotel), Tom Sloman (Golfing4Life) at Studley Wood Golf Club with the latter completing his day with three back to back birdies.
At The Oxfordshire, Joe Bannan (Manchester Golf Club), shot a round of 66 (-6) including five birdies on the trot on his front nine and three back to back to complete his day. There were 66s aplenty at The Oxfordshire though, with Jake Ayres (Foxhills Country Club & Resort), Chris Croucher (UTP Management) Benjamin Jones (a) (Northamptonshire County GC), James Johnston, Joe Brice (Haydock Park Golf Club) also all tied up at second. Ayres bogey-free to give him a strong chance of improving on his 2019 category.
Scoring was strong across both courses with conditions favourable overall with only a minor downpour for the afternoon groups to contend with and it showed with the scoring with a one under round seeing players back at tied seventy-fifth on the board.
DAY TWO PERMUTATIONS
80 will make the final day with a cut made after the second rounds are complete on Thursday. The final day will be hosted at Studley Wood Golf Club with the top thirty earning the best category available from Q School supported by Sky Sports.
Live scoring will be available throughout HERE
Stay ahead of the game. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest Irish Golfer news straight to your inbox!