Former Irish international and East of Ireland champion Richard Kilpatrick was the best of the Irish as the first stage of the European Tour Qualifying School continued with Section B in Austria and France.
The Banbridge man opened with a two-under 70 at the Pete Dye designed Golf Club Barbaroux - situated midway between Marseille and Cannes - to trail American Michael Schachner and the latest IMG signing, Frenchman Victor Dubuisson, by five shots.
Kilpatrick is tied for eighth place at the French venue, where the top 15 and ties in the 66-strong field will progress to November’s second stage in Spain.
The rest of the Irish in action there cannot afford to fall further behind with Michael Mulryan (74) tied for 28th, Cian McNamara (75) tied 34th, Glen Robinson (80) tied 58th and Ulster amateur Byron Campbell (83) tied 62nd.
At Ebreichsdorf, 30 minutes south of Vienna, Sweden’s Joakim Lagergren fired a five-under par 67 to lead by a stroke from compatriot Victor Almstrom.
Clontarf’s Eamonn Brady shares 28th place after a two-over 74 at a venue where only the top 14 and ties in the 58-man field will progress through to second stage. Germany based Justin Brink shot a 78 to lie joint 48th.
Ebreichsdorf Rd 1 scores