Newlands’ Cian Curley was the top Irish qualifier in the 54-hole PGA Europro Tour Q-School finals at Frilford Heath.

The 25-year old, who won last year’s East of Ireland Amateur Open before turning professional, closed with a one under par 70 on the Blue Course to finish tied for fifth on six under, just two strokes behind winner Paul Grannell of England.

Douglas’ Peter O’Keeffe saved the best for last, firing a bogey free, four under 67 to move up to tied 20th on three under.

St Margarets’ John Kelly finished two shots futher back in tied 24th on one under after a closing 69 that featured a hat-trick of birdies at the start of the back nine.

The K Club’s Michael Lavelle also shot 69 to share 36th place on level par with Jonathon Mallon well back on eight over after a final round 75.

The Holy Grail for Europro Tour players is to finish in the top-five in the Order of Merit and earn automatic promotion to the European Challenge Tour for the following season - a feat last achieved by Noel Fox in 2008.

Ireland has a huge presence on the Europro Tour every year. Last season, Ballyliffin’s Brendan McCarroll was the leading Irish player, finishing 25th in the standings with Paul O’Hanlon 27th, Gareth Shaw 32nd, Tim Rice 33rd, Micahel Collins 37th, Brian McElhinney 38th, Neil O Briain 44th, Noel Fox 48th, Barrie Trainor 61st and Michael McGeady 67th.

There will be around 16 tournaments this year, including back to back events in Ireland at Galgorm Castle (June 29 - July 1) and Fota Island (July 6 - 8).