Irish contenders off to a sound start at Q-School

Bernie McGuire

Ireland’s class of 2017 have started well at the most strenuous examination in golf with eight of the eleven pretenders breaking par on day one of Second Stage European Tour Q School.

Those harbouring hopes of improved status flew to Spain this week to battle it out across four courses and for many, it was just the start they would have wanted.

Recent Challenge Tour Card winner Jonathan Caldwell picked up where he left off at Desert Springs Golf Club in Almeira firing six birdies en route to a four under par 68, currently good enough for a share of 11th.

Ardglass’ Cormac Sharvin sits one shot further back on three under par in a tie for 25th, while Niall Kearney has work to do having opened with a two over par 74.

At Campo de Golf El Salar, Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy carded five birdies on his way to a two under par 70 and a share of 8th spot, but Brendan McCarroll struggled at the same venue, now in serious danger of missing out after a disappointing 77.

John Ross Galbraith was best of the Irish Challenge at Las Colinas in Alicante. JR carded a three under par 68 to grab a share of 18th after round one. Michael Hoey sits just behind him after a solid 69 to start, while Knock’s Colin Fairweather didn’t enjoy the best of days, a two over 73 giving him much work to do today.

West Waterford’s Gary Hurley and Castleknock’s David Carey were the pick of the Irish bunch in Panoramica Golf & Sport Resort, Castellón, the pair shooting fine 68s, good enough for a tie for 15th. Rosapenna’s Ruaidhri McGee is just one adrift at three under par.

In all, about 18 players are expected to make it out of each section to have the chance to secure the golden ticket at Final Stage later this month. Play resumes this morning and we wish our boys well.

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