"No excuses!" from McGinley as Champions Tour hopes vanish with 85
Paul McGinley

Paul McGinley

“No excuses!”

That was the brutally honest assessment by Paul McGinley after he carded the highest round of his professional career in the first round of the PGA TOUR Champions Q-School  in Florida.

According to observers, the 49-year old Dubliner did not appear to be in physical distress after carding a 13 over par 85 — the worst score of his career by two strokes — that left him propping up the 78-man field in the race for a top five finish at Disney’s Magnolia Course in Orlando

Seen heading in the direction of the range with his Trackman later in the day,  McGinley confirmed there were no injury excuses to be made after a horrific day in Disney’s magic kingdom — his worst as a pro since he opened with a 12 over 83 in that nightmare 1999 Open Championship at Carnoustie.

While the average score was 73.641 on the par-72 track measuring 7,259 yards and just 25 players broke par, the 2014 Ryder Cup skipper started at the 10th and went out in a bizarre, 12 over 48 as he mixed one birdie and one par with five bogeys, a triple bogey eight and a quintuple bogey nine.

That he came home in one over 37, following a birdie at the fourth (his 13th) with bogeys at his 16th and 18th holes, looks like a minor miracle. 

While he had no plans to play a full schedule, McGInley now appears to have no hope of finishing among the top five and ties who will earn fully-exempt status after 72 holes.

Players finishing from sixth to 30th (and ties) will be granted associate membership on Tour though McGinley has work to do to close a 14-shot gap on the players in 30th.

American Scott Parel opened with a seven under par 65 and leads by one stroke from Argentina’s Jose Coceres (66) with Greg Kraft, Jay Williamson and Skip Kendall two behind after 67s.

Jean Van de Velde is tied 10th after a 70 with Phillip Price and Jean-Francois Remesy tied 33rd after 73s. 

Former Irish Open and Smurfit European Open winner Stephen Dodd is tied 41st with Miguel Angel Martin after they shot 74s while Dane Steen Tinning and England's Barry Lane are tied 48th after 75s.