Nolan joins fallen stars at Q-School

Keith Nolan must outshine a constellation of fallen stars when he begins the battle to regain his PGA Tour card today.

And after six years in the golfing wilderness the Bray ace, 33, confessed that getting back on the biggest tour in golf would mean the world to him.

After coming through the first two stages of the school - eight gruelling rounds of golf - Nolan must survive 108 holes at the finals and finish in the top 30 at the end of it all to regain his card.

Daring to dream of a successful week at PGA West in California over the next six days, he said: "It would probably mean even more after all that I have been through with my career. But I could probably answer that better a week from today."

Walker Cup player Nolan was a member of the PGA Tour in 1998 and 2000 and played on the Nationwide Tour in 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2004.

But for the past two seasons he has been living in golf's twilight zone - playing in pro-ams and Nationwide Tour qualifiers to support his family.

The pain and financial hardship could end for him this week if he survives the 72-hole cut and goes on to claim his card after six rounds.

But looking at rivals such as two-time US Open champion Lee Janzen, 2004 Ryder Cup player Chris Riley or 2000 US PGA runner up Bob May, Nolan knows that reputations count for nothing.

Looking at the big names in the 163-man field, Nolan said: "We all have job to do, but I guess seeing some of those guys here just proves how hard this game is."

Not a man to talk about his goals, Nolan says he will be taking it one shot at a time in California and stick rigidly to his mantra of "fairways and greens" to make the grade.

He said: "I am very happy to be here, but the job is not over. I am a guy who tries to go through a process, I try and give myself the chance to hit fairways and greens.

"If I do that, everything else will take care of itself. I cannot worry about scores, all I care about is hitting fairways and greens. I do not have a target number, whatever happens, happens."