Hickey leads Irish charge at Q-School with Grehan & Rice following closely

Ronan MacNamara
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Stuart Grehan (Photo by Patrick Bolger/Getty Images)

Cork’s John Hickey got his DP World Tour aspirations off to a solid start after he opened with a one-under 71 at the First Stage of Qualifying School at Mottram Hall in Cheshire. 

Hickey is the only Irishman under par after the first round but he will have a sour taste in his mouth as he could have been in an even better position. 

As it stands the man from the Rebel county is one shot outside the qualifying places in 22nd and five adrift of pace setters Will Enefer of England and Scotland’s Greg Dalziel. 

The 30-year-old was in cruise control at four-under at the turn after he opened his account with a hat trick of birdies before following a dropped shot on the fourth with gains on the fifth and ninth. 

However he was unable to sustain that and carded another hat trick on the back nine – this time he was on the bogey train. Three dropped shots came on 12, 13 and 14 before a fourth dropped shot in six holes on 17 dropped him back to level par. He did rally on 18 with a closing birdie. 

Tullamore’s Stuart Grehan is chasing promotion to the Challenge Tour in the EuroPro Tour Championship later this month but he will be hoping he can skip a level and earn a DP World Tour card. 

The 29-year-old is in a share of 29th place on level-par after three birdies, a bogey and a double on his 12th hole. 

Late entry Tim Rice is a shot further back after a one-over 73. 

Whitehead’s John Ross Galbraith is on two-over after a 74 but after turning in four-over 40 he kept his chances alive with a back nine bookended by birdies. 

Mornington’s Daniel Mulligan is three-over after a 75 with the 17-year-old needing a good showing to push towards the qualifying places. 

Open Championship qualifier Ronan Mullarney and Esker Hills amateur Stephen Cunningham stumbled to rounds of 76 while Irish Club Pro champion Liam Grehan is plus six. 

Scoring HERE

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