Grant leads Alps ascent as Carey make first ace
 Carton House's David Carey during the 2014 Irish Close at Seapoint.

Carton House's David Carey during the 2014 Irish Close at Seapoint.

Birr's Stephen Grant open with a level par 71 to lead the Irish challenge at the Alps Tour Final Qualifying Stage in Spain where Carton House amateur David Carey had his first ever hole-in-one.

Offaly man Grant had four birdies and four bogeys on the Europa Course at La Cala and is tied for 10th, six shots behind Pierre-Ludovic Courvert of France who shot a 65 on the same track to lead by two from Italy's Andrea Perrino.  Scoring

Headfort's Rory McNamara had 34 putts in a three over 75 on the Asia Course, leaving him tied for 46th with 18-year old amateur Tommy O'Driscoll from Ring of Kerry, who also played the Asia Course.

Heavy overnight rain led to some mud balls for those who missed the fairway and while preferred lies were in operation, blustery conditions made for tough scoring at the Spanish venue.

Simon Ward is tied for 91st after a six over 77 on the Asia Course where Carey shot an 81 after a rollercoaster start to his round.

The Dublin schoolboy lost a ball off the tee and double bogeyed the first. He then bogeyed the second but aced the downhill, 115-yard third for the first hole-in-one of his career when his 52 degree wedge landed just past the pin and spun back into the hole.

He then birdied the fourth to go one under par but lost two balls off the tee at the fifth but made birdie with it to 'salvage' a triple bogey eight.

Four  bogeys and another triple bogey eight on the back nine added up to a long day but he could still reflect on that hole-in-one.

How it works

A field of 144 players will play two rounds over each of the Asia and Europa Courses. After 36 holes, the field will be cut to the leading 65 players and those players tied on the final qualifying place score who will then play one further round on the Asia Course”.

At the conclusion of the 54 holes, the leading 35 players (and those players tied on the final qualifying place score) will be ranked according to score. Players holding these positions will be eligible for membership in Category 6 of the Alps Tour for the 2014 season.

Players making the cut of the Final Qualifying Stage and finishing beyond 35th place will be eligible for membership in Category 8 of the Alps Tour for the 2015 season and will be subject to the 2015 re-rank policy adopted by the Alps Tour Committee.