THREE players shared the lead at the top of the leaderboard after a brilliant first day’s golf at the Brabazon Trophy.
Cornwall golfer Tom Fox, Bury’s Ciaran Doherty and Sebastian Mork Andersen, from Norway, all shot five-under-par 68s at Seaton Carew yesterday.
They hold a one-stroke lead from a quartet of English golfers Tomasz Anderson, Seb Crookall-Nixon, Ben Stow and Jack Cardy.
French golfer Edgar Catherine is one of seven golfers at three under par while defending champion Jordan Smith was on one under par after a first-round 72 at the Tees Road links.
The weather was glorious throughout the day, with only a light breeze to contend with.
But despite such benign conditions, ‘only’ one third of the 150-strong field were in red figures - 120 were par and over, highlighting what an excellent test of golf the 10th oldest club in the country is
Crookall-Nixon was in the first match out yesterday morning, teeing off at 7am, and the Cumbrian, who is based at San Francisco University, set the early pace by coming in with a four-under-par 69.
The morning players appeared to have the best of the conditions and that seemed to be confirmed when Doherty, out at 8.50am, went around in 68 to take the lead.
The Lancashire golfer held the clubhouse lead in his own right until Fox matched his score.
Playing out of the China Fleet Golf Club, near Plymouth, Fox was one of the early afternoon starters but found the course to his liking.
And, as often happens in tournament golf, one of the later competitors produces a wonderful round.
That man was Norway ace Andersen, who was out in the 46th of 50 matches.
Andersen also signed for a 68 and, like Fox, is an early starter today so has the opportunity to build on his great first round.
It was a good day for a number of the England amateur stars in the competition.
Ashley Chesters, from Shropshire, carded a 70, while team-mate, Ryan Evans shot a two-under-par 71.
The European Amateur champion experienced mixed emotions - some of his approach play was of the highest order but he could not capitalise on the greens.
“I hit it great but holed nothing,” said the 27-year-old from Wellingborough in Northants.
“But if I keep getting it close, they will drop eventually.”
Reigning title holder Smith, one stroke behind his friend, international colleague and playing partner, described his first day as “pretty average.”
The 20-year-old told SportMail: “I’m not over the moon about it, but it’s not awful.
“If I shoot a nice low score in the second round I should be up there somewhere.”
So too should fellow England player Luke Johnson, who was also on 72.
The Norfolk 22-year-old, who has Seaton Carew player Nick Procter caddying for him, was hit by a lost ball on the 16th but still came in under par.
Johnson tees off today at 12.40pm, 20 minutes after Evans and Smith