Kennedy fires 71 in PGA Tour Q-School First Stage

Cardinal Mooney boys golf coach Chris Kennedy fired a 71 in the first round of the PGA Tour Q-School First Stage held at the Grasslands in Lakeland on Tuesday.

Kennedy is tied for 37th alongside Lakewood Ranch resident Joe Monte and Sarasota's Joey Lamielle.

Sarasota's Brian Ward opened with a 72 and is tied for 49th.

All four play the West Florida Golf Tour, which is a developmental mini-tour based in the Sarasota/Bradenton area.

Only the top 19 and ties advance to the second stage held in mid-November at six venues.

Currently, players at 4-under par or lower are inside the cut line for advancement. Mark Blakefield, of Maysville, Ky., is the leader following a 9-under par 63.

The Grasslands site is one of six places conducting the first stage this week.

Eight additional venues will hold the remaining first stage of Q-School next week across the country.

The top players from each site advance to the second stage. Those fortunate to progress from the second stage make it to the final qualifying stage at PGA West in late November for a chance at earning a 2013 PGA Tour card.