The Island’s Gavin Moynihan fired a second successive 68 to take a one-stroke lead into the final 36 holes of prestigious Peter McEvoy Trophy at Copt Heath.
The 17-year old winner of last year’s Tom Montgomery Award (Boys Order of Merit) tops the leaderboard on six under par 136 from Max Orrin and Bradley Moore.
Whitehead’s John Ross Galbraith is eight shots off the pace on two over 144 after adding a 69 to his opening 75 with Irish Boys champion Jordan Hood of Galgorm Castle 10 strokes behind his international team mate on 146 after rounds of 75 and 71.
An Irish player has yet to win the Peter McEvoy Trophy, which was first played in 1981 and includes tour players such as Peter Baker (1983), Lee Westwood (1991), Brian Davis (1992), Justin Rose (1998) and John Parry (2004) on its list of champions.
Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy closed with a 10 under par 61 last year to smash the course record but finished fourth on four under 280 with Moyninhan (playing out of Donabate) in seventh on 282.
Moynihan has recently returned from the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final in China, having gone from strength to strength since his victory in Faldo Series Grand Final at Lough Erne 12 months ago.
“Winning the Series in 2011 presented a huge opportunity for me,” Moynihan said recently. “Not only did I get the chance to learn from Sir Nick and Rory McIlroy at the Europe Grand Final but I also won my age-group to qualify for the Asia Grand Final in China. These have been once-in-a-lifetime experiences.”
More than 70 golfers aged 12 to 21 will line up in the fifth Faldo run Ireland Series, to be played over two rounds on the Faldo Course at Lough Erne from April 17-18.