Joy for trio; heartache for Collins and Murphy
Jonny Caldwell, Aaron O’Callaghan and Noel Fox made the top 15 who came through the European Tour Qualifying School First Stage at Dundonald Links.
But there was heartbreak for Cork’s Michael Collins, who was ninth overnight but slipped one shot outside the seven over par qualifying mark after a final round 77.
It was an even tougher day for former European Tour stalwart Gary Murphy as he crashed to an 80 to miss out on a place in Stage Two by five shots, slipping from 13th overnight to 18th place.
Hackett hacks up to grab third at Galgorm Castle
Cork Golf Club’s Steven Hackett moved up to 13th in the Europro Tour’s Order of Merit when he closed with a five under par 67 to finish solo third on his tour debut in the Galgorm Castle Northern Ireland Open.
Five shots behind Scotland’s Ross Cameron starting the final round, Hackett fired six birdies and just one bogey in a superb effort to finish just four shots outside a play-off for the £10,000 top prize. Scores
Murphy and Co set for PQ-2 pain in Spain
Popular Kilkenny man Gary Murphy faces a 10-round marathon to win back his European Tour card.
The affable 38-year old is just one of 12 Irishmen set to peg it up over 72 holes in the Second Stage of the European Tour Qualifying School at four venues in southern Spain from November 26-29 and, hopefully, the six round Finals in Catalunya.
Breakthrough win for O'Hanlon
Paul O’Hanlon blasted a sensational seven under par 65 to win the Hi5 Protour’s Altorreal Winter series Tour final in Spain.
Kearney leads Irish quintet to Q-School finals
The 21-year old Walker Cup player was one of five Irishmen to come through stage two in Spain, finishing two shots behind Sweden’s Fredrik Ohlsson in brilliant share of second place on 12 under par 276 at Costa Ballena near Cadiz.
Uphill battle for Irish at School
Challenge Tour trio Colm Moriarty, Simon Thornton and Jonathan Caldwell remained on course to make next week's final stage of the European Tour Qualifying School in Spain.
Almost 300 players are battling for 74 places in the finals at PGA Golf Catalunya at four second stage venues but nine of Ireland's 12 hopefuls are in danger of missing out.
Solid start for Irish at Q-School
Seven of Ireland’s 12 challengers broke par at Stage Two of the European Tour Qualifying School with four of them inside the qualifying places after the opening day.
A total of 304 players are competing at four venues in Spain with a total of 74 spots up for grabs in next week's Final Qualifying Stage at PGA Golf Catalunya where the top 30 and ties after six rounds will earn full tour cards.
Simon Thornton (68) and Colm Moriarty (69) are inside the top 18 at Sherry Golf but while Mick McGeady (71) is just two shots outside the magic number, David Higgins (72) and Eddie Barr (74) have more work to do.
Eight Irish survive PQ1
The dream is still alive for eight of the 37 Irishmen who entered Stage One of the European Tour Qualifying School.
All 12 entrants failed at Section A last week but eight of the 25 starters in Section B survived and will tee it up at one of four Stage Two venues in Spain in November.
St Margarets' John Kelly was the top man when he finished tied third on 12 under at The Oxfordshire after a closing 69. It was his fourth successive sub-par round at a venue where 28 qualified on four under par 284 or better.
Irish trio looking good at Oxfordshire
John Kelly, Mick Collins and David Higgins look certain to progress to the second stage of the European Tour Qualifying School.
The Irish trio completed their weather delayed third rounds at the Oxfordshire on Friday morning with Kelly the best place after a 69 left him alone in fifth place on nine under par.
Collins posted a two under par 70 to share sixth on eight under with Waterville man Higgins sharing 18th on four under after a 73.
Kelly top pupil at Q-School
John Kelly repaid the faith shown in him by Padraig Harrington when he fired a second round 68 to keep his European Tour dream alive at the first stage of the Qualifying School.
Harrington and his brother Tadhg have been guiding Kelly's progress behind the scenes and his hard work with "Harrington Golf" looks to be paying off at The Oxfordshire.
A four under par effort left the 38 year old St Margarets man tied for fifth place on six under par with the top 27 and ties progressing to November's second stage.
37 Irish heading to Q-School
Walker Cup player Niall Kearney is one of 37 Irishmen who have entered the first stage of the European Tour Qualifying School later this month.
The 21-year old Royal Dublin amateur will tee it up in a 115-man field at Fleesensee Golf and Country Club near Berlin from September 22-25 alongside Justin Brink and fellow South of Ireland champions Mark Campbell and Mervyn Owens.
Kearney is one of six Irish amateurs amongst the 749 hopefuls who will begin their bids of European Tour cards at stage one. The others are Ulstermen Byron Campbell and Ruairi McGee, Newlands’ Irish international Cian Curley, Royal Dublin’s Neil O Briain and Portmarnock’s James Fox.
Portstewart’s Paul Cutler, who was disappointed not to make the Walker Cup side this year, has not entered.