Whitehead’s John Ross Galbraith and Mount Juliet’s Stephen Grant got off to good starts at the First Stage of the European Tour Q-School.
Amateur Galbraith fired a two-under 70 in his Section A qualifier at the Roxburghe Hotel & Golf Course in Scotland — one of eight First Stage tournaments scheduled for the next four weeks — to end the opening day tied for 11th.
The former Irish Close and North of Ireland champion is four shots behind Dane Rasmus Helm, who shot a six-under 66 to lead by one stroke from England’s Jack Colegate.
Drive Golf's Colm Moriarty and Castlewarden's Mark Whelan are tied for 41st after one-over 73 with Headfort’s Joe Dillon tied 82nd after a 77.
Former professional footballer Grant might have bogeyed his last two holes but he still signed for a one-under 71 at Golf & Country Club Fleesensee, an hour south of Rostock in northern Germany.
The Birr native, 40, was three under par after mixing birdies at the second, seventh, ninth and 12 with a lone bogey at the fourth.
But while he dropped shots at the 17th and 18th, he’s tied 20th after a 71 and will recall how he qualified with a shot to spare the same venue last year.
German amateur Jonas Koelbing leads by two shots in Germany thanks to a seven-under 65.
The number of players to progress at each venue will be announced today.