McGeady in position as Moynihan shows Q-School grit

Gavin Moynihan. Picture: Pat Cashman

Derry's Michael McGeady is the only Irish p;ayer inside the qualifying places after the opening round of the Qualifying School First Stage Section C qualifiers in France and Portugal.

The North West man opened with a level par 71 to share 15th place at Golf d’Hardelot near Boulogne where the top 24 and ties will progress to the Second Stage in Spain in November.

Hardelot scores

At Ribagolfe near Lisbon, Sweden's Petter Bocian blasted eight birdies and an eagle in a  nine under 63 to lead by two shots clear from compatriot Linus Gillgren, Spaniard Vicente Blazquez and Portugal’s Goncalo Pinto, who all opened with rounds of 65.

Ribagolfe scores

The quartet are in prime position to claim a place in the Second Stage, with the top 22 and ties progressing from the Portuguese venue.

But it will be a little more challenging for the five Irishmen in action there with 71s for Brendan McCarroll and Tim Rice leaving them two shots outside the Top 22, tied for 33rd on one under.

If Walker Cup star Moynihan gets a tour card of some description at the end of this process, he may look back at the three birdies he made in his last four holes on Tuesday as the key.

A level par 72 leaves him tied 45th but having started with a bogey at the 10th and then double bogeyed the 341-yard 14th to slip to three over, he did very well to match play.

Still three over with four to go, he birdied his 15th, 17th and 18th holes to undo the damage and now starts again with a clean slate and his options more or less intact.

It will be tougher through for teenager David Carey, who is 79th after a four over 76, and Jonathan Mallon, whose 79 left him 97th.