By Brian Keogh
Conor O'Rourke. Photo by Golffile
Naas’ Conor O’Rourke and Portmarnock Links’ Robin Dawson made blistering starts at the Second Stage of the European Tour Qualifying School in Spain.
Dawson opened with a five-under par 67 to share the lead at Bonmont in Tarragona where Clandeboye’s Jonny Caldwell was joint seventh after a 70.
O’Rourke was pleased with his “attitude and patience” as he made an eagle and five birdies in a seven-under 64 to lead outright at Las Colinas in Alicante while Royal Dublin’s Niall Kearney was tied 20th after a one-under 71 at nearby Alenda Golf.
Galway’s Irish Amateur Close champion Ronan Mullarney faces an uphill battle at Alenda, however, after opening with five-over 77.
The numbers to progress to next week Final Stage will be confirmed on Friday with the top 15-18 and ties the traditional mark from fields of 83.
At Alenda Golf, Alicante (Par 72):
T1, F Lacroix (Fra) 66, N Bradley (Sco) 66;
T20 N Kearney (Irl) 71;
T50 D Brennan (Irl) 74;
T72 R Mullarney (Irl, Am) 77;
T77 L Donnelly (Irl) 79.
At Club de Golf Bonmont, Tarragona (Par 72):
T1, R Dawson (Irl) 67, A Zemmer (Ita) 67;
T7 J Caldwell (NIr) 70;
T42 T Hogarty (Irl) 73;
T55 R McGee (Irl) 74.
At Desert Springs Golf Club, Almería (Par 72):
1, J Ritchie (RSA) 63;
2, N Flanagan (Aus) 64;
T76 D Carey (Irl) 76.
At Las Colinas Golf & CC, Alicante (Par 71):
1, C O’Rourke (Irl) 64;
T40 M Hoey (NIr) 70;
T56 JR Galbraith (NIr) 72.