Stephen Grant begins chasing his US Tour card todayFormer soccer star Stephen Grant is one of five Irish hopefuls set to tee it up in the First Stage of the PGA Tour Quaifying School today.

The 35-year old from Birr will begin chasing the American dream at Grasslands Country Club in Florida while West Waterford’s Seamus Power, Dungannon’s Fergal Rafferty, Ballymena’s Chris Devlin and Waterville’s Mark Murphy will be in action at venues in North Carolina, Texas, Nevada and Mississippi.

Former Walker Cup player and European Tour winner Nick Dougherty is one of a large contingent of Europeans taking the opportunity to compete in the final Q-School before the system changes next season.

Grant failed to tget through the first stage in Europe but feels good about his game despite being unable to practice due to a back injury he picked up this summer.

“I’m feeling good,” Grant said. “I played the Challenge de DCatalunya the same week as the Ryder Cup  whre were a lot of main tour players in field.  I made the cut so was good to get back playing and my back is much better, though it’s still not right and gets sore if I practice. There’s a strong field here this week too much there always is in US.”

First Stage - Kannapolis, NC
Oct 16 - Oct 19, 2012
The Club at Irish Creek
Seamus Power, Huntersville, NC

Lakeland, FL
Oct 16 - Oct 19, 2012
Grasslands Golf & Country Club
Stephen Grant

First Stage - Lantana, TX
Oct 16 - Oct 19, 2012
Lantana Golf Club
Fergal Rafferty, Tomball, TX

First Stage - Dayton, NV
Oct 16 - Oct 19, 2012
Dayton Valley Golf Club
Chris Devlin, Panama City, FL

First Stage - Palm Desert, CA
Oct 16 - Oct 19, 2012
Classic Club
Nick Dougherty United Kingdom

First Stage - Madison, MS
Oct 16 - Oct 19, 2012
Lake Caroline Golf Club
Mark Murphy, Harahan, LA