By Brian Keogh
Rory McIlroy cruised through the first stage of the European Tour Qualifying School - but not without a fright.
The 18-year-old eventually made it through with four shots to spare after a nightmare start to his final round at The Oxfordshire.
Set to turn professional before next week's British Masters at The Belfry, McIlroy went to the turn in three over after losing ball in rough at the seventh.
At five under par, he was just one shot inside the eventual qualifying mark but eagled the 11th from 18th feet and picked up two bidies coming home.
Despite dropping a shot at last, he was delighted to make it to November's second stage in Spain.
He said: "It's job done - I came here to finish in the top 30 and I have done that and I cannot complain now I am looking forward to The Belfry."
McIlroy finished in joint 13th place on eight under par, 13 shots behind Zimbabwean winner Tongo Chambara.
A total of nine Irish players made it through the section A qualifiers with Belfast's Damian Mooney qualifying with two shots to spare at The Oxfordshire.
Stackstown pair Michael McDermott and Mark Campbell were successful at Fleesensee near Berlin.
Both men shot one under par 71s with McDermott tied for fifth on 10 under par and Campbell three shots inside the qualifying mark on five under.
Five Irishmen made it at Chart Hills in England with Dubliner Gary Cullen grabbing third spot on seven under par after a 70.
Ulsterman Chris Devlin was a shot further back after a 71 with Mick McGeady making it to Stage Two with four shots to spare despite crashing to a 75.
Coollattin's Glen Robinson also faltered with a 74 but qualified on four under with Black Bush professional Mark Staunton making it on the mark after a 71.
Former Irish PGA champion David Mortimer missed out by a shot despite carding a one under par 71.
European Tour Qualifying School, Stage One (Section A)
The Oxfordshire, England (Par 72, 32 players qualified on 284 or better)
Qualifiers: T13 Rory McIlroy (Irl) 70 67 71 72 (280); T18 Damian Mooney (NIr) 73 65 72 72 (282).
Fleesensee Golf and Country Club, Berlin (Par 72, 28 qualified on 286 or better)
Qualifiers: T5 Michael McDermott (Irl) 67 70 70 71 (278); T17 Mark Campbell (Irl) 68 72 72 71 (283).
Chart Hills, England (Par 72, 31 players qualified on 287 or better)
Qualifiers: 3rd Gary Cullen (Irl) 72 72 66 70 (280) €1,030.94; T4 Chris Devlin (NIr ) 71 70 69 71 (281) €292.74; T11 Michael McGeady (Irl) 69 71 68 75 (283); T 14 Glen Robinson (Irl) 70 69 71 74 284; T 26 Mark Staunton (Irl) 74 72 70 71 287.
Non-qualifiers: T32 David Mortimer (Irl) 70 75 72 71 288; T41 Brendan McGovern (Irl) 72 74 72 72 290; T 44 David Jones (Nir) 75 73 73 70 291; T 55 Michael Collins (Irl) 70 75 76 73 294; T63 Peter Williamson (Irl) 72 75 73 76 296; T65 Mark Murphy (Irl) 74 68 79 76 297; T 69 John Kelly (Irl) 73 76 73 80 302.