Irish contingent start strong at Stage Two Q-School

Ronan MacNamara
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Gary Hurley (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

Gary Hurley, Stuart Grehan, Jonathan Yates, Conor O’Rourke, Ruaidhri McGee, Cormac Sharvin and Niall Kearney all made strong starts to the Second Stage of DP World Tour Q-School in Spain. 

Twelve Irish players teed it up on Thursday morning across four golf courses in Alicante, Huelva, Girona and Almeria with the hope of advancing to the Final Stage in Tarragona next week. 

Waterford’s Hurley is riding the crest of a wave at the minute having already secured a Challenge Tour card via the Alps Tour Order of Merit last month and he currently sits in second place after round one at Emporda Golf. 

Hurley carded an opening round of 66 which included an eagle on the par-5 12th as he skipped to five-under-par where he trails Jarryd Felton by two shots. 

The 29-year-old began on the tenth and followed that eagle with a bogey on 14 before a birdie, bogey run gave way to three successive gains around the turn which kickstarted his charge up the leaderboard. 

The West Waterford GC man added a fifth birdie of the day on the fourth and came home with five steady pars. 

Lurking a shot further back in fifth place is Tullamore’s Grehan who is looking to tie up his future for next season after the closure of the EuroPro Tour. 

Grehan’s round was far less dramatic than his compatriot’s as he carded four birdies in a bogey-free 67. 

Elsewhere at Emporda, Paul McBride is a shot outside the coveted top-20 on level-par while Conor Purcell has work to do from plus three. 

Naas man Yates who won the final event of the Alps Tour season is the lone ranger at Isla Canela Links where the scoring is very low already. 

The 29-year-old shot a four-under 68 but that was only good enough for 21st place after round one. He trails leaders Pieter Moolman and OJ Farrell by five shots in a field that also includes the only player to shoot 59 on the DP World Tour, Oliver Fisher. 

O’Rourke of the K Club leads the Irish charge at Desert Springs Golf Club after a four-under 68 of his own which included two birdies in his last three holes to move into 14th place. 

“A nice start, played steady all day. I managed my game well and I am looking forward to the next few days,” said the 31-year-old.

“It’s going to be a long week, I really enjoyed it out there but there is a long way to go but I have prepared well and I am going to go out and give it my best.”

Rosapenna’s McGee is a shot further back on three-under in 29th place while Gavin Moynihan and Castle amateur Robert Moran have work to do from four and five-over. 

Moran found himself four-over after eight holes before three birdies in six holes reignited his round. Unfortunately a bogey on his penultimate hole was followed by a closing triple-bogey eight. 

Las Colinas is the home of those who fell off the DP World Tour this year but Sharvin and Kearney are well placed to launch a charge for Final Stage. 

Sharvin is two-under-par having recovered from a triple-bogey, bogey start. The Ardglass man carded three successive birdies before his first par arrived on the sixth. 

Birdies on ten and eleven got him under-par before a bogey on the par-5 15th was cancelled out by a stunning closing eagle as he moved into the top-16. 

Kearney is a shot further back in 24th place. EuroPro Tour graduate Dermot McElroy is level-par. 

Scoring HERE

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