Kelly and Grant off the pace at Q-School

Frilford Heath. Picture © European Tour

Naas' Mike Kelly and Birr's Stephen Grant are outside the qualifying places after the first round of the European Tour First Qualifying Stage Section D qualifier at Frilford Heath in England.

As England's Mark Laskey made seven birdies and dropped just a single shot in a six under 66, Kelly is just a shot outside the qualifying places after a level par 72 with Grant facing a tough battle now after a four over 76.

With the 97-strong field facing another 54 holes on Frilford Heath’s Red course, only the top 23 and tie come Friday evening will progress onto Stage Two at four venues across Spain from November 7-9.

Kelly was two under after seven holes but while he had four birdies on his card but also two bogeys and a double bogey as he ended the day tied for 34th.

Grant got off to an awful start, dropping five shots in his first eight holes before picking up his only birdie of day at the par-five 10th.

The Offaly native is tied for 65th as Laskey eneded the day one clear of Englishman Ryan Brown. Scoring

There are no Irish in action at Ribagolfe in Portugal, where American Peter Badawy birdied four of his last eight holes for an excellent 67 and a share of the first round lead with Finland’s Henri Satama.

With 94 players contesting at Ribagolfe, those finishing in 22nd place (plus ties) at the close of the 72 holes will progress on to Second Stage. Scoring

Those successful few following the four Second Stage contests will move on to the Final Qualifying Stage at PGA Catalunya Resort where the top 25 and ties at the end of a gruelling 108-hole marathon will gain a coveted card for The 2015 Race to Dubai.