Mighty atom Claire Coughlan made a fast start in her bid to qualify for the Ladies European Tour.

The pint-sized Curtis Cup star, 26, opened with a one under par 71 in the Qualifying School finals at La Cala in Spain.

With the top 25 after four rounds grabbing cards, amateur Coughlan is tied for 10th place just three shots behind Aussie pin-up Dana Lacey.

Beaverstown's Martina Gillen hit a two over par 74 to share 36th spot but Hazel Kavanagh crashed to a five over par 77 at the Malaga track.

Gillen and Coughlan came back from shaky starts on a course they know well from Irish team training camps.

Starting on the back nine, Coughlan had three bogeys and a birdie in her first four holes but stormed back with three birdies to finish the day amongst the leaders.

Curtis Cup team mate Gillen had a triple bogey seven at the 13th, her fourth hole of the day.

But she battled back to add three birdies and just two bogeys to keep her options intact.

Leader Lacey , 24, recently starred on The Golf Channel’s reality TV show Big Break V in Hawaii. S

She also starred in a racey photo shoot for the Australian Ladies’ Professional Golf Tour’s 2007 women’s golf calendar.

Playing alone in the first match of the day, she fired six birdies and two bogeys to lead by a shot from Spaniard Maria Beautell.