The European Tour Qualifying School should come with a heath warning. Danger — teeing it up at Q-School is bad for your health, your bank balance, your nerves and your self-esteem.
With four of the eight Stage One qualifiers now complete, the scoreboard has a harrowing look for Ireland's hopefuls. Of the 15 men who entered the Section A and B qualifiers in Austria, Scotland, England and Germany over the past fortnight, just one — Waterville's Mark Murphy — has made it to Stage Two.
Murphy made it bang on the limit too, which probably sounds like bliss right now for The Island's David Rawluk, who bogeyed two of his last three holes for a closing 72 at Frilford Heath to miss out on his place in Stage Two by the narrowest of margins.
I managed 21 birdies and an eagle this week, but only finished -5. Enough good in there, just too many mistakes!— David Rawluk (@DavidRawluk) September 19, 2014
The Dubliner finished on five under par in the end as 28 players progressed to November's Second Stage, which will be played at four venues across Spain — the penultimate step before the gruelling six-round Q-School Final Stage battle on two courses at PGA Catalunya Resort for just 25 cards from November 20-25.
As for golf I tried my best but I was never really at the races all week on an easy golf course. Frustration came to head on the last few!— Cian Curley (@CianCurley) September 19, 2014
Banbridge's Richard Kilpatrick shot a 69 but left himself too much to do and missed out by three while Newlands' Cian Curley had a disappointing final day and ended up carding a 77 to finish seven shots off the mark on one-over alongside Mourne's Reeve Whitson (73) who has only be a professional for two months.
Another rookie Lucan's Richard O'Donovan, was celebrating his first pro win on a mini tour in Germany just a fortnight ago before the harsh realities of tour life set in with a disappointing week in Germany, where he missed the 54-hole cut.
Derry's Michael McGeady, Headfort amateur Rory McNamara, Limerick's Tim Rice and Cork's Niall Turner all start their bids in France next week with former footballer Stephen Grant preparing to try his luck when the tour returns to Frilford Heath in a fortnight.
SEP 09-12 FIRST QUALIFYING STAGE SECTION A
GOLFCLUB SCHLOSS EBREICHSDORF, EBREICHSDORF, AUSTRIA
Nial KEARNS Omagh Golf Club Failed to qualify
THE ROXBURGHE HOTEL & GOLF COURSE, SCOTLAND
- Brian CASEY Headfort GC Failed to qualify
- Paul CUTLER Portstewart GC Failed to qualify
- Alan DUNBAR Team Ireland Failed to qualify
- Dermot MCELROY (AM) Ballymena GC Failed to qualify
- Damian MOONEY Ballyliffin GC Failed to qualify
- Mark MURPHY Waterville GC QUALIFIED
- Daniel SUGRUE Kilarney Golf & Fishing Club Failed to qualify
SEP 16-19 FIRST QUALIFYING STAGE SECTION B
FRILFORD HEATH BLUE, ABINGDON,ENGLAND
- Cian CURLEY Newlands GC Failed to qualify
- Barry DALY (AM) Edmondstown GC Failed to qualify
- Richard KILPATRICK Banbridge GC Failed to qualify
- Matt MCALPIN The Ramore Failed to qualify
- David RAWLUK The Island GC Failed to qualify
- Reeve WHITSON Royal County Down G.C Failed to qualify
- Richard O'DONOVAN Failed to qualify
SEP 23-26 FIRST QUALIFYING STAGE SECTION C
GOLF D’HARDELOT, HARDELOT, FRANCE
- Michael McGEADY Northwest GC
- Rory MCNAMARA (AM) La Cala Resort
- Tim RICE Limerick GC
- Niall TURNER Muskerry GC, Cork
CIRCOLO GOLF BOGOGNO, BOGOGNO, ITALY
- No Irish
SEP 30 - OCT 03 FIRST QUALIFYING STAGE SECTION D
FRILFORD HEATH RED, FRILFORD HEATH, ABINGDON, ENGLAND
- Stephen GRANT The Heritage, Ireland
RIBAGOLFE, LISBON, PORTUGAL
- No Irish