Forrest Little's Eoin Arthurs fired a six-under par 66 to take the clubhouse lead in the first round of the East of Ireland Amateur Championship at Co Louth.

With half the field still to finish, the 24 year old from Swords is three strokes clear of Walker Cup star Jonnie Caldwell of Clandeboye and Belvoir Park's Harry Diamond, who shot three under par 69s.

The Curragh's Paul O'Hanlon had a hole-in-one at the 207-yard 17th - his eighth - in a 70 and is tied for fourth with Castlecomer's Michael Buggy and Elm Park's Niall O'Connor on two under par.

With the course playing fast and hard, just 15 of the 78 morning starters broke par with Irish Close and West of Ireland champion Shane Lowry carding a level par 72 and last year's runner up, Baltray's Simon Ward, forced to settle for a one over par 73.

East of Ireland Amateur Open Championship at Co. Louth GC, Baltray, Co. Louth
(Morning starters)

66 E Arthurs (Forrest Little)
69 H Diamond (Belvoir Park), J Caldwell (Clandeboye)
70 P O'Hanlon (Curragh), M Buggy (Castlecomer), N O'Connor (Elm Park)
71 A O'Callaghan (Douglas), P Cutler (Portstewart), R Forsythe (Ballyclare), S Crowe (Dunmurry), N Kearney (Royal Dublin), C Doran (Banbridge), R McCarthy (The Island), S Gannon (Co. Louth), G O'Flaherty (Cork)
72 A Dowling (Hermitage), S Lowry (Esker Hills), D Downie (Sutton), F Rafferty (Dungannon)
73 P Buckley (Kanturk), G Lawlor (Citywest), S Ward (Co Louth), E Marsden (Tullamore/NUIG), B Cashman (Belvoir Park), M Brett (Portmarnock), N Grant (Knock)
74 M Poucher (Limerick), D McInerney (Lahinch), J Fox (Portmarnock), A McCloy (Ballymena), S Smyth (County Louth)
75 S Webster (Castle), M Shanahan (West Waterford), S Dwyer (Newlands), J Carvill (Warrenpoint), D Hogan (Killeen), M Sinclair (Knock), D Lewis (Woodbrook), B Walton (Island/NUIM), D Crowe (Dunmurry), R Kenny (Woodlands), D Coyle (Co. Louth), G Dunne (Seapoint)
76 J McGinn (L & B), D O'Brien (L & B), D McCusker (Moyola Park), R Durnin (Laytown & Bettystown), R McNamara (Headfort), B Keenan (The Heath), A Hogan (Newlands), A McAllister (Portmarnock), G Flynn (Delgany)
77 T O'Flynn (Fota Island), C Deegan (Castle), D Reilly (Westmanstown), M McGinley (Grange), A Kerr (Clandeboye), J Mulready (Castle)
78 R Neville (Donabate), A Meharg (Scrabo), V Smyth (Co Louth), R Oliver (Carrickfergus/UU), D Joyce (Curragh), I Keane (Malahide)
79 M Hammond (Moyola Park)
80 M Ryan (Grange), D Lally (Tuam)
81 G Dillon (Heath), R Cannon (Laytown & Battystown)
82 T Cleary (Cork), B Campbell (Malone), G Hall (Edenderry)
83 D Leathem (Lisburn), D Glynn (Galway), J Hughes (Douglas)
85 B O'Brien (Headfort), J Monaghan (The Island)

RT J Turner (Royal Portrush)