Niall Turner might have his Asian Tour card for 2017 but Dubliner Niall Kearney must come through this week’s Final Qualifying School in Thailand to join him and it's not going to be easy.
The 28-year old from Royal Dublin opened with a one under par 71 at Suvarnabhumi Golf & Country Club in Bangkok on Wednesday but found himself tied for 122nd in a race to finish in the top 35 and ties who will be awarded tour cards.
With the to 80 and ties making the cut on Thursday, the former Walker Cup star will need a sub-par round just to keep his dream alive.
American William Cannon and Australia’s Todd Sinnot fired eight under par 64s to lead by one stroke from a seven-strong bunch after a day that saw 90 players shoot three under par 69 or better.
“I’m from Birmingham Alabama in the United States and I played in the University of Alabama for four years,” Cannon said.
"I tried to get onto the Web.com but unfortunately I didn’t make it. I felt this is the next best step to further my career and get some good tournament experience in Asia.
"I decided to come over here and it has been great so far. I’ve been here in Thailand for three weeks now and I like it so far. It’s January but it feels like summer to me.”
Kearney, a two time Irish Professional champion, missed out on his card at the same stage 12 months ago and will not be panicking despite his slow start.