Q-School: Raymond, Hurley and Phelan in the mix
Cameron Raymon. Picture:  Pat Cashman

Cameron Raymon. Picture: Pat Cashman

Cameron Raymond, Gary Hurley and Kevin Phelan are sitting pretty at halfway in the First Stage of the European Tour Qualifying School Section C Qualifiers in Italy and England.

A former Leinster interprovincial, Raymond built nicely on his tremendous opening 69 at Circolo de Golf Bogogno northwest of Milan, carding a 70 to end the day tied for 14th on five-under par.

Coached by Kilkenny man Eoin Gibbons, who already has a player through to the Second Stage in Mount Juliet’s Luke Donnelly, Raymond raced to seven under par for the tournament with four birdies in his first seven holes.

Dropped shots at his eighth, 14th and 16th holes undid some of that good work before he birdied his 17th to post a five-under-par 36-hole aggregate that leaves him well placed to contend for a spot in November's Second Stage in Spain.

Spanish amateur Angel Hidalgo shot a second successive, seven-under 65 to lead on 14-under par in Italy, where the top 23 and ties (currently two-under par) will progress.

It was also a good day for Hurley and Phelan at Frilford Heath near Oxford, where the top 24 and ties will go through to the next stage.

Hurley (25), who is coming off a run of five successive missed cuts on the Challenge Tour to lie 112th in the Rankings, made four birdies in a second successive, one-under 71 to share 12th on two-under with fellow Waterford man Phelan.

Phelan (27) came through the Q-School process in 2013 and played two full seasons on the European Tour before playing mainly on the Challenge Tour in 2016 and 2017.

He's shown signs of a return to form on the Europro Tour this year, however, and made an eagle and two birdies in a 69 yesterday to get back into the red after an opening 73.

The other eight Irish players in action at Frilford Heath shot over par with John Ross Galbraith (74) 44th on two-over, Cork amateur John Hicky (74) tied 62nd on four over, Brian Casey (76) tied 67th on five-over, Tim Rice (79) and Niall Kearney (79) both seven over, Paul McBride (80) eight-over, Stuart Grehan (75) 12-over and Paul O'Neill (79) 14-over.

European Tour Qualifying School

Sep 25-28 — First Stage Europe Section C Frilford Heath

Scores

T12 Gary Hurley 71 71 142

T12 Kevin Phelan 73 69 142

T44 John Ross Galbraith 72 74 146

T62 John Hickey (Am) 74 74 148

T67 Brian Casey 73 76 149

T85 Tim Rice 72 79 151 

T85 Niall Kearney 72 79 151 

90 Paul McBride 72 80 152 

T106 Stuart Grehan 81 75 156 

111 Paul O’Neill 79 79 158 

Sep 25-28 — First Stage Europe Section C Golf Club Bogogno, Italy

Scores

T 14 Cameron Raymond 70 70

Sep 18-21 — First Stage Europe Section B Stoke by Nayland

Scores

T22 Dermot McElroy, 67 74 70 78 289 FQ

T34 Colin Fairweather, 76 74 66 77 293 FQ

T41 Michael Ryan (Am), 70 75 73 79 297 FQ

MC Kieran Lynch (Am), 77 79 80 236 FQ

Sep 18-21 — First Stage Europe Section B GolfClub Schloss Ebreichsdorf. Austria

Scores

MC Stephen Grant 80 72 71 223 FQ

MC Peter Dallat 73 74 78 225 FQ

Sep 11-14 — First Stage Europe Section A Fleesensee, Germany

Scores

T18 Colm Moriarty 74 70 70 69 283 FQ

T25 Michael McGeady 70 72 72 71 285 FQ

First Stage Europe Section A The Players Club, Bristol, England

Scores

T3 Luke Donnelly Q 77 71 62 74 284 QUALIFIED

6 Neil O'Briain Q 72 68 72 74 286 QUALIFIED

T34 Brian McElhinney 79 74 70 74 297 FQ

T45 Joe Dillon 71 77 76 76 300 FQ

MC Brendan McCarroll 75 82 79 236 FQ

Oct 09-12 — First Stage Europe Section D Golf d’Hardelot, France

Peter Williamson

Oct 09-12 — First Stage Europe Section D Bom Sucesso, Óbidos, Portugal

Jonathan Caldwell

David Carey

Conor O’Rourke

Jonathan Yates