Walker Cup men among 28 Irish in Q-School marathon - just 2 successes in 5 years

West Waterford's Gary Hurley plays Walker Cup this week, followed by the First Qualifying Stage of the European Tour Q-School in Scotland next week.

Only Kevin Phelan and David Higgins have won full European Tour cards by going through Q-School over the past five years. No matter. No fewer than 12 of Ireland's 28 hopefuls will head to the starting line full of hope when the First Qualifying of the European Tour Q-School begins in Scotland and Germany next week.

Over the next month, Walker Cup players Paul Dunne, Jack Hume, Gary Hurley and Gavin Moynihan and their former Irish team mates John-Ross Galbraith, Richard Bridges, Colm Campbell and Dermot McElroy will try their luck at making it to Second Stage, where they will be joined by more Irish players and the rest of the hardened veterans from the Challenge Tour, the European Tour and beyond.

Around 1,000 hopefuls pay a fee of €1,800 (or the sterling equivalent of £1,350) to enter the Qualifying School each year, all aiming for a European Tour card awarded to the top 25 and ties following the Final Stage, which will be held at PGA Catalunya Resort in Catalonia from November 14-19.

There they will mix it with experienced players who failed to finish in the Top 110 on the European Tour this year, not to mention other hungry raiders from all over the world — Australia, the United States, Asia and the Middle East.

A player progressing through all three stages will have to play 252 holes under the most intense pressure with the leading 25 players (plus those tied for 25th place) after the six-round Final Stage earning Category 15 Membership of The European Tour for the following season. (Those who get to final stage and make the four round cut get Challenge Tour cards)

West Waterford star Hurley will head straight from the Walker Cup to Scotland for his Stage One event at The Roxburghe.

He's one of seven players who played amateur golf this year to head for Q-School with the others being his Walker Cup team mates, Hume, Moynihan and Dunne and former Ireland team mates Galbraith, Bridges and McElroy.

Dunne and Hume tee it up at Golfclub Schloss Ebreichsdorf in Austria from September 22-25 with Moynihan, who has signed with Chubby Chandler's ISM, scheduled to tee it up at Ribagolfe in Lisbon at the end of the month.

Other notable entries include Clontarf's PGA professional Eamonn Brady, 41 in October, who will be making his first appearance at Q-School for a decade.

The former Royal Dublin player is second in the Irish Region's Order of Merit behind Higgins thanks to six wins this year.

European Tour Qualifying School 2015 - Irish entries for Stage One

Sep 15-18  First Qualifying Stage Section A The Roxburghe Hotel & Golf Course, Kelso, UK

  1. Richard BRIDGES
  2. Jonathan CALDWELL Clandeboye GC
  4. Brian CASEY Headfort GC
  5. Alan DUNBAR Team Ireland
  6. Gary HURLEY (AM) West Waterford GC
  7. Richard KILPATRICK Banbridge GC 
  8. Dermot MCELROY (AM) Ballymena GC
  9. Rory MCNAMARA La Cala Resort
  10. Richard O’DONOVAN Lucan GC
  11. Simon WARD Belvoir Park

Sep 15-18 First Qualifying Stage Section A Fleesensee, Germany

  1. Stephen GRANT Mount Juliet GC

Sep 22-25 First Qualifying Stage Section B Collingtree Park, Northampton, UK

  1. Ciaran BOGGAN Co Meath Golf Club
  2. Eamonn BRADY Clontarf GC
  3. JD GUINEY Ballybunion GC
  4. Peter MCGIBNEY
  5. Richard WELDON Killeen Castle GC
  6. Reeve WHITSON Royal County Down G.C

Sep 22-25 First Qualifying Stage Section B Ebreichsdorf, Golfclub Schloss Ebreichsdorf, Austria

  1. Paul DUNNE (AM)
  2. Jack HUME (AM) Naas GC

Sep 29-Oct 02 First Qualifying Stage Section C Golf d’Hardelot, France

  1. Michael McGEADY Northwest GC

Sep 29-Oct 02 First Qualifying Stage Section C Ribagolfe, Lisbon, Portugal

  1. David CAREY
  2. Johnathan MALLON
  3. Brendan McCARROLL Team Ireland
  4. Gavin MOYNIHAN (AM) The Island GC
  5. Tim RICE Limerick GC

Oct 06-09 First Qualifying Stage Section D Frilford Heath Red, Abingdon, UK

  1. John Ross GALBRAITH (AM) Whitehead
  2. David RAWLUK The Island GC

Oct 06-09 First Qualifying Stage Section D Circolo Golf Bogogno, Italy

  1. No Irish