Clandeboye’s Jonny Caldwell fired five birdies and a bogey in an opening 67 to lead the Irish contingent after the opening round of the Hi5 Pro Tour’s El Valle Open in Murcia.
The former Walker Cup player finished the day just two shots behind pacesetter James Maw of England on four under par with Castle’s Dara Lernihan two shots further back after a 68 that featured six birdies and four bogeys.
Newlands’ Cian Curley posted a one over par 72 to share 42nd place with fellow Dubliner Neil O’Briain (73) and Michael McGeady (74) completing the Irish scores.
Maw fired a six under par 65 on the Jack Nicklaus signature course near Murcia to lead by a shot from European Tour veteran Miguel Angel Martin and Scotland’s John Gallagher, the runner up to Brian McElhinney in the 2005 Amateur Championship at Royal Birkdale.
Following Elliot Saltman’s controversial appearance on the Hi5 Pro Tour last week, where he finished fourth behind brother Lloyd while serving a three-month ban from the European Tour, just one of the clan teed it up in Spain.
However, it was a day to forget for Zack Saltman, who opened with an eight over 79 and will struggle to make the top 40 professionals and ties who will progress to Thursday’s final round.