FOLLOWING the completion of Stage One of the European Tour Qualifying School last week, there will be just two Kerry men - David Higgins and Mark Murphy - in the field for Stage Two in Spain in early November as Ballybunion's J D Guiney did not make the cut at Frilford Heath in the sixth and final event of Stage One.
The rookie professional who joined the paid ranks less than twelve months ago, missed out following a disastrous start on the very first hole of round one in the four round event. A lost ball in the gorse bushes saw Guiney run up a quadruple-bogey 8 which meant that he faced an uphill struggle after that.
To his credit, he hit back straight away with a birdie at the next hole but bogeys at the 10th, 17th and 18th coupled with two more birdies at the 13th & 14th meant an opening round of 76 which placed him well down the pecking order.
Level par rounds of 72 in rounds two and three saw him make little progress and a final round of 77 which included six bogeys and just one birdie put paid to his chances of advancement to the next stage.
"Apart from the eight on my first hole, I was actually level par from the second hole of round one until the twelfth hole of round four, but the putter was cold all week" he told The Kerryman. "I figured that if I could pick up three birdies on the final nine holes then I would have a chance, so I threw caution to the wind and I started going at the flag on every hole of the back nine but I ended up dropping five shots. In the end it turned out that a final round of 73 would have got me through which is heartbreaking" he added.
Guiney will now more than likely head back to his Florida base in the coming weeks and play the "Winter Series" on the Nike Tour.