McKnight off to good start at Champions Tour Q-School

Bluffton resident Tom McKnight is trying to regain his Champions Tour card this week in the final qualifying stage at TPC Eagle Trace in Coral Springs, Fla.

In Tuesday's opening round, McKnight fired a 69 and sits just three strokes behind leader Frankie Minoza.

The qualifier runs through Friday. The top five finishers will earn fully exempt status in the full-field events on the 2011 Champions Tour. The top 30 and ties are eligible to enter weekly event qualifiers.

McKnight played on the Champions Tour in 2009 and has $1,862,089 in career winnings.

The PGA Tour is hosting the second stage of its Qualifying School this week.

Hilton Head Island's Chris Epperson continued his quest for a tour card on Tuesday, firing a 74 in the first round at Redstone Golf Club in Humble, Texas. He is tied for 30th place, eight strokes behind leader James Driscoll of Wellesley, Md.

The qualifier will continue today and run through Friday.

Humble is one of six sites hosting a second stage event.

The second stage at Bear Creek Golf Club in Murrieta, Calif., starts today and runs through Saturday. Hilton Head Island's Martin Catalioto is in the field.