Stephen Browne bogeyed his last two holes but still carded a five under par 65 in the opening round of the Argentina Open at the Hurlingham Club in Buenos Aires.
The Dubliner raced to seven under par before his late lapse left him just one shot behind first round leader Martin Monguzzi in a share of second place with local hero Daniel Vancsik.
For the moment, though, Monguzzi is the man to beat. The 26 year old, the son of famous Argentinean amateur Roberto, who played the 1968 Open Championship won by Gary Player, is eyeing his first win as a professional.
“We all saw what Estanislao (Goya) did on Sunday, and new doors opened for him because of that win,” said Monguzzi of his friend who won last week’s Abierto Visa del Centro to set up a new career in Europe. “Hopefully, I could follow in his footsteps.
“Everything went well for me today, despite the bogey at the 13th, where I went over the green with my third shot. My ball striking from the tee was perfect and I sank a few good putts,” added the leader of the US $200,000 championship.
Gareth Maybin is tied for 19th after a one-under par 69 with Colm Morairty (70) and David Higgins (71) well placed.
But it was a nightmare day for Belfast's Michael Hoey as he crashed to an 11 over par 81.