West Waterford’s Seamus Power and Waterville’s Mark Murphy made postive starts in their bids for PGA Tour cards at the first stage of the Qualifying School.
Power made four birdies and a bogey in a three under 68 to share sixth place in the first round at The Club at Irish Creek in North Carolina, where the top 19 and ties after four rounds will qualify for next month’s second stage.
Murphy shot a three under 67 to share eighth place atLake Caroline Golf Club in Mississippi, four shots off the lead with the top 16 and ties set to go through to stage two.
Despite being two over after nine holes following bogeys at the 17th and 18th, he made up for his slow start in spades by storming home in five under 30.
After birdies at the first, second and third, he made an eagle three at the fifth before canceling out a bogey at the seventh with a birdie three at the ninth.
Former Shamrock Rovers winger Stephen Grant shot a one over 73 at Grasslands Golf and Country Club in Florida to lie 10 shots off the lead and five shots outside the top 19 and ties who will qualify.
Dungannon’s Fergal Rafferty posted a four over 76 at Lantana Golf Club in Texas to be five shots outside the top 18 while Ballymena’s Chris Devlin carded a one over 73 at Dayton Valley Golf Club in Nevada, two shots outside the top 19 and ties who go through there on Friday evening.