O'Rourke facing uphill battle in Portugal to secure European Tour card status
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 over the Bom Sucesso course yesterday.
A birdie at the second was sandwiched in between two bogeys while he reached the turn two-over (39) after another bogey on the sixth hole.
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 another dropped stroke on the last.
O'Rourke finished as the leading Irishman at the Monaghan Irish Challenge at Concra Wood last weekend.
His Naas team-mate Jonathan Yates was forced off late last night after play was suspended due to darkness and 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 first nine holes.
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 two following his 67.
Meanwhile, at the corresponding event at Golf d'Hardelot in France, Irishman Peter Williamson has left himself with a mountain to climb after shooting an eight-over opening round of 79.
Home favourite Lionel Weber leads the field along with American Kurt Kitayama heading into this morning's second round after their own respective seven-under rounds of 64.