Three birdies in his last six holes helped keep David Carey’s Korn Ferry Tour bid on track after the opening day of Stage Two Qualifying at the Plantation Course in Florida.
The big hitting Dubliner overcame a slow start to card a three-under-par 68 to lie in a share of 31st position.
The top-18 and ties will advance to the Final Stage and Carey is just two shots outside the cut mark with three rounds to play.
Carey, a surprise qualifier for The 150th Open at St Andrews in July, where he finished a creditable tied 62nd has opted to take the US route to secure a tour card for 2023.
The 26-year-old will miss the DP World Tour’s Q-School this year having used his exemption into this week’s Second Stage of Korn Ferry Tour Q-School at Plantation Preserve.
Should Ireland’s ‘Mr 57’ progress to the Final Stage of the Korn Ferry Tour Q-School it will clash with the Second Stage in Europe.
The Irishman who had been plying his trade on the Alps Tour until his performance at St Andrews earned him several invites on the Challenge and DP World Tour in the autumn months got off to a sluggish start in Florida.
Two birdies and two bogeys saw him turn in 35 and bring a stuttering front nine to a close.
However, his round soon burst into life with a brace of birdies on the thirteenth and fourteenth before a closing birdie on the par-5 18th turned a frustrating day into a decent one.
You can’t qualify on the first day but you can certainly play yourself out of it so Carey will be pleased he stayed in the mix on a day of low scoring with just five players failing to break par.
Carey is five shots adrift of leader Brett Stegmaier.