Mark Murphy lets ripWaterville’s Mark Murphy made a sub-par start to his bid for a PGA Tour card in Texas. But the former amateur international was just one of five Irishmen in action in the Q-School First Stage qualifier at Lantana Golf Club.

LA-based Murphy opened a one-under par 71 in the 72-hole test north of Dallas and Forth Worth, where a couple of late bogeys left him a tenuous tied 23rd at a venue where only the top 23 and ties will advance to next month’s second stage.

Fergal RaffertyWaterford’s Seamus Power and Tyrone’s Fergal Rafferty, a golf scholarship graduate from Sam Houston State University, signed for level par 72s to share 35th place in the 77-man field.

Ballyliffin’s Thomas Kearney (@TKearneyGolf), the San Antonio based player who earned a PGA Tour invitation to the Valero Texas Open in May, had to settle for a one over 73.

Tweeting later, Kearney wrote: “73 today. Didn’t play my best but I’m in great shape to play well next 3 days. Looking forward to going low.”

Muskerry’s Niall Turner will be hoping to do the same after a disappointing, three over par 75 left him with a mountain to climb to get through the first stage.

Two Irishman took part in the first phase of stage one qualifiers last week with differing results for Bray’s Keith Nolan and Ballymena’s Chris Devlin.

With the top 18 to progress, former US Open qualifier Devlin tied for 11th at McKinney in Texas but Nolan’s lack of competitive golf this season - just two Nationwide Tour starts after a long injury lay-off - caught up with him as he finished 12 shots outside the mark on two-over.