Mark Murphy is looking for his big break.Mark Murphy, Chris Devlin and Seamus Power made a positive start to their bids to come through the gruelling Q-School and earn places on the megabucks PGA Tour.

All three are inside the qualifying places after the opening round of Stage One qualifiers in Texas and North Carolina while former Shamrock Rovers footballer Stephen Grant is just outside the top 20 in Florida.

Waterville man Murphy, who competed in the Golf Channel’s Big Break this season, opened with a one under 71 to share sixth place at Stonebridge Ranch Country Club in Texas with Ballymena man Devlin tied for ninth there after a 72.

West Waterford’s Power had three birdies and two bogeys in a one under 70 at The Club at Irish Creek in Kannapolis in North Carolina to share 20th place, eight shots behind impressive first round leader Clint Jensen (62).

Birr native Grant fired a level par 72 at Grasslands Golf & Country Club in Florida to share 30th place, three shots outside the top 20 and ties on a packed leaderboard.

Keith Nolan begins his challenge at The Auburn University Club in Alabama today while Dungannon’s Fergal Rafferty goes into action at Lantana Golf Club in Texas next Tuesday.

The second qualifying stage takes place at six venues next month with the top 30 after December’s final stage earning places on the 2012 PGA Tour.