Limerick golfer Tim Rice who is competing at the first stage of European Tour qualifying school in France
TWO Limerick golfers bidding to secure European Tour cards for 2018 have ground to make up in their bid to get through the first qualifying stage.
Cian McNamara dropped down to 48th place from tied 12th after the first round when firing a second round 75 at the First Qualifying Stage of the European Tour Q-School at Golf d'Hardelot in France.
Thirty one-year-old McNamara, who opened with a 68 on Tuesday, had three birdies, five bogeys and a double bogey in the second of his four rounds.
The top 21 players progress to November's Second Stage of Qualifying at four Spanish venues.
Former Junior Open winner McNamara, who is based at Monkstown Golf Club, is now five shots outside the qualifying mark on +1, with two further rounds to play on Thursday and Friday.
Meanwhile, fellow Limerick man Tim Rice was left to rue a disappointing triple bogey 7 on his final hole after signing for a 72 in his second round.
Irish PGA Champion Rice sits in 64th place overall, eight shots off the top 21 with 36 holes to go.
Rice’s eventful second round included an eagle three at the 500-yard Par 5 sixth hole, four birdies and four bogeys as well as that closing triple bogey at the 410 yard Par 4 9th hole.
The European Tour’s Qualifying School is held in three stages - dependent on the individual's status - at a series of venues in the UK and Continental Europe. In the region of 1,000 competitors enter the Qualifying School each year, all aiming for a European Tour card, awarded to the top 25 and ties following the Final Stage.
A player progressing through all three stages will have to play 252 holes under the most intense pressure.
The leading 25 players (plus those tied for 25th place) will earn Category 16 Membership of The European Tour for the following season.