Shock Irish Open winner Shane Lowry struggled to a six-over par 78 on his professional debut at The European Open.

Playing with Paul McGinley and England's Anthony Wall, Lowry never recovered from a disastrous start that saw him bogey the first and fourth and then double bogey the par-four sixth to slip to four over par early in his first round as a professional .

"I didn't go out with too many expectations," he said after finishing the day tied for 147th in the 155-man field. "But I didn't feel good on the course today. I felt a bit flat, didn't play great and I'm glad to have that round over.

"It's the first day of many hopefully and there will be good days and bad days but I will get on with it and I will be okay.

"I just got off to a bad start, four over after six, and didn't feel myself to be honest. I knew it was going to be tough, it's not an easy course by any means."

A birdie at the par-three seventh gave him some respite but he bogeyed the par-five eighth to turn in four-over 40.

Bogeys at the par-three 11th and par four 14th left him on six-over and while he birdied the par-five 15th, he bogeyed the par-three 17th and did well to make four par at the last after driving into rough on the right. 

Asked if it felt difficult to tee it up as a pro, he said: "No. The game is as hard as ever. I am just going to go out tomorrow and try and play as well as I can. If it is good enough, it is good enough.

"I am looking forward to the next few weeks and getting a run going in a few tournaments. I am not under pressure to make the card and make money but I still have the pressure on myself to try and do as well as I can."

Peter Lawrie is the best of the Irish after a five-under par 67 left him just two strokes behind pace-setter Anders Hansen.

The Dubliner dropped just one stroke all day and finished with two birdies in his last three holes.

After finishing with birdies at the seventh and ninth, Lawrie said: "I played nicely, struck the ball beautifully to be honest, hit a lot of good irons shots, hit the ball on the fairway and holed one or two putts.

"The golf course is presented beautifully but it is quite difficult if you miss the fairways and around the greens in particular."

Lawrie flew to London with Lowry and played nine holes with him in practice on Tuesday.

He's fully behind the Offaly man's decision to turn professional this week and confessed that he is impressed by what he has seen so far.

"There was no other decision to make," Lawrie said. "To tee it up in the East of Ireland at Baltray this week would have been a downer. 

"I have never seen a guy so relaxed but he takes it all in and I was very impressed by that. It is a credit to his mum and dad and how he was brought up. He has taken it all in his stride and he doesn't have a big head in any shape or form."

Rory McIlroy was four under par with three holes to play but after a bogey at the 17th he holed a 25 footer for a brilliant par at the last for an impressive 69.

Asked if he had any words of wisdom for Lowry, he said: "If he goes out tomorrow and shoots 66 he will make the cut. He is very capable of it and I'm sure that's what he's thinking tonight."

McGinley finished alongside Graeme McDowell after shooting a 70 in Lowry's company and confessed that the 22-year-old debutant was obviously a fine player though nerves got the better of him as he tried to impress on the tough London Club track.

"He has propelled himself into a different stratosphere," said McGinley. "It was very difficult for him - it would be for anybody - but he is a class player and I didn't see any weaknesses."

Michael Hoey was two under with three to play but dropped three shots in a row from the seventh, his 16th, to sign for a 73. 

Of the rest of the Irish, Darren Clarke, Damien McGrane and Gareth Maybin all shot two over 74s with Gary Murphy a shot further back after a 75.