Gareth Maybin closer to tour school trip after opening 71 in Perth

Gareth Maybin
Gareth Maybin needs a top-seven finish to have any chance of retaining his European Tour card

Gareth Maybin edged closer to a visit to the European Tour School after an opening 71 left him sharing 53rd spot at the Perth International.

Maybin needs to finish in the top seven in the Australian event to have any chance of retaining his tour card.

He went into this week's event 122nd in the Race to Dubai - some £25,000 off the 111th spot that will ensure safety.

Ballyclare man Maybin is seven behind leaders Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen and Australian veteran John Wade.

Damien McGrane is the leading Irishman on two under which leaves him sharing 25th spot.

McGrane has already secured his tour card for next season as he is currently 94th in the order of merit.

Kevin Phelan, third at last week's Hong Kong Open, shot an opening 72 but only a top-three finish is likely to be enough for him to retain his card as he is 130th in the standings.

Peter Lawrie looks certain to have to make a trip to the tour school as his opening 75 left him 11 shots off the pace.

Lawrie is currently 174th in the Race to Dubai after a second successive poor season and went into this week's event needing a win to hold on to his card.

His opening round left him sharing 124th place.

Olesen and Wade have a two-shot lead over a quartet which includes England's Tom Lewis and Australian's Michael Sim.

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