Castle’s Robert Moran did his DP World Tour hopes no harm with a bogey-free 68 in the first round of Stage One of DP World Tour Qualifying School at Montado Golf Resort in Portugal.
The amateur is on four-under and five shots shy of pacesetter Connor McKinney after the Aussie amateur cared a sublime nine-under 63.
Moran is currently in a share of 20th place after birdies on the second, fourth, eighth and seventeenth gave him a solid platform to build on for the rest of the week.
“Yeah I’m pretty happy,” said the Dubliner. “Played pretty solid, hit the ball well and any time I did miss a green I was chipping from the right spots and held out pretty well, my putting was quite solid which was nice.
“There are a few chances but there are also a few tricky holes so it’s about taking your chances and hoping the birdies come and just reduce the bogeys and try and make the round as stress free as possible. Even though the scoring is low, pars are still good and you can move onto the next hole.”
The 23-year-old has established himself as one of Ireland’s top elite amateur golfers with good finishes abroad this season including fifth at the African Amateur Stroke Play, fourth at the Lytham Trophy and third at the St Andrews Links Trophy.
Moran was unable to play in Castle’s successful Barton Shield team last week as he was in France helping Ireland finish 19th at the World Amateur Team Championships and it’s performances like that which have given him the courage to enter the gauntlet of Q-School.
“My goal with golf is to turn pro whether that be this year or in the next couple of years. Just thought I’d give qualifying school a go, you never know when you will play your best golf and yeah if the timing is right maybe I can play my best golf. I’ve had a good year so thought I’d give it a go this year and have a crack at it.”
San Francisco based Redmond Lyons is level-par after a 72.