By Jay Bayford
Kildare’s Conor O’Rourke has work to do heading into this morning’s second round of the European Tour qualifying school first stage event at Obidos, Portugal.
The 27-year-old Naas player opened with a three-over-par round of 75 at the Bom Sucesso course.
A birdie at the second was sandwiched by two bogeys while he reached the turn two over (39) after another bogey on the sixth.
He looked to be set for a strong finish after holing back-to-back birdies on 15 and 16 but a double bogey then followed on 17 before dropping another stroke on the last.
His Naas teammate Jonathan Yates was forced off late last night after play was suspended due to darkness. He will be back out early this morning to finish his first round.
Castleknock’s David Carey suffered a nightmare start to his round and looks to be already out of contention after signing for a 10-over-par round of 82.
It could have been even worse for Carey who actually reached the turn 10 over after four double bogeys and two bogeys over the front nine.
But to his immense credit, Carey held par over the back nine as, despite another double bogey and two bogeys, he picked up two birdies as well as a stunning eagle two at the par-four 16th hole.
Spain’s Jacobo Pastor leads the field heading into day following his 67.
At the corresponding event at Golf d’Hardelot in France, Irishman Peter Williamson has left himself a mountain to climb after shooting an eight-over 79. Home favourite Lionel Weber and American Kurt Kitayama lead after both carded 64s.