Defending champion Paul Dunne was one of just 10 players to break par, firing a four under 68 to share the first round lead with Skerries' Harry McHugh in the East of Ireland Amateur Open at a testing Baltray.
McHugh followed a bogey at the 10th with birdies at the 13th and 14th, a hole-in-one with a seven iron at the 160-yard 15th and a birdie at the 18th to turn in four under 31.
The Trinity student got to six under with further birdies at the second and third but suffered coming home, dropping shots at the fifth, sixth and eighth before a birdie at the ninth gave him the clubhouse lead on four under
He was soon joined by Greystones' star Dunne (21), who got off a great start with birdies at the first, second and fourth in his bid to become the first player to retain the East since Raymie Burns in 1993
While he bogeyed the par-three seventh, he birdied the ninth, 12th and 15th to get to five under before dropping a shot at the 16th and parring his way home.
Dunne and McHugh lead by a stroke from the ever improving Munster interprovincial Geoff Lenehan from Portmarnock, who made just one bogey in a 69 while Cork's Gary O'Flaherty and Warrenpoint pair Stephen Coulter and Paul Reavey shot 70s.
Teenager Kevin Le Blanc from the Island was one of four players to shoot 71 but former European Tour player Stephen Browne had to settle for a three over 75 that at least gives him a fighting chance of making the today's cut for the top 51.
Former Shamrock Rovers star Neville Steedman, the man who scored the last goal at Milltown, shot an 82 playing out of Courtown.
East of Ireland Championship in Co. Louth Golf Club sponsored by CityNorth Hotel
Par (72) CSS 75 SSS 74
68 Harry McHugh (Skerries), Paul Dunne (Greystones)
69 Geoff Lenehan (Portmarnock)
70 Gary O'Flaherty (Cork), Stephen Coulter (Warrenpoint), Paul Reavey (Warrenpoint)
71 Kevin Le Blanc (The Island), Darragh Coghlan (Portmarnock), Niall Gorey (Palmerstown Stud), Michael Sinclair (Knock)
72 Chris Carroll (Shandon Park), Eugene Smith (Ardee), Alex Gleeson (Castle), Pat Murray (Limerick), Jamie Richardson (Royal Portrush), Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint)
73 Simon Bryan (Delgany), Matthew Wylie (Portugal), Caolan Kennedy (Forrest Little), Barry Anderson (Royal Dublin), John-Ross Galbraith (Whitehead)
74 Gary Collins (Rosslare), Stephen Healy (Claremorris), William Hanna (Kilkeel), Alan Thomas (Dungarvan), John Greene (Portmarnock), Gary Hurley (West Waterford), Brian O'Reilly (Athenry), Daniel Brennan (Shannon), Eddie McCormack (Galway), Richard Bridges (Stackstown), Ben Best (Rathmore)
75 Stephen Browne (Hermitage), Aaron Grant (Dundalk), John Hickey (Cork), Richard Knightly (Royal Dublin), Shaun O'Connor (Luttrellstown Castle), Sean Ryan (Royal Dublin), Jim Carvill (Banbridge), Daniel Holland (Castle), Joe Lyons (Galway), Eoin Arthurs (Forrest Little), Connor Doran (Banbridge), Alan Lowry (Esker Hills), Gareth Bohill (Co Louth), Greg Mungovan (Headfort), Keith Crowley (Fota Island), Steffan O'Hara (Co Sligo), Gareth Lappin (Belvoir Park), James Sugrue (Mallow)
76 Thomas Mulligan (Laytown & Bettystown), Tony O'Leary (Wexford), Kenny McGarry (Castlemartyr), Phillip Purdy (Shandon Park), Jack Pierse (Portmarnock), Kelan McDonagh (Royal Dublin), Gerard Dunne (Co Louth), James Fox (Portmarnock), Niall Goulding (Portmarnock), James Lindsay (North West), Conor O'Rourke (Naas), Karl Purcell (Dun Laoghaire), Robert Cannon (Balbriggan), Marc Boucher (Carton House), Shane McGlynn (Carton House), Ronan Mullarney (Galway), Shaun Carter (Stackstown), Ally Purdy (Ballyclare), Cian Geraghty (Laytown and Bettystown), Liam Ashby (Naas), Colin Fairweather (Knock)
77 Matthew McClean (Balmoral), Keith Egan (Carton House), Bryan McSweeney (Royal Dublin), Gary McDermott (Carton House), Sean Maloney (Dunmurry Springs), Ryan Symington (Lisburn), Jeff Hopkins (Royal Dublin), Liam Harnett (Milltown), Ronan O'Reilly (Headfort), Alexander Wilson (Portmarnock), Stephen Egan (Castle Bearna), Mark O'Rourke (Royal Tara), Eanna Griffin (Waterford), Stuart Grehan (Tullamore), Thomas O'Connor (Athlone), Damien McCusker (Moyola Park)
78 Ryan McKinstry (Cairndhu), John McGinn (Laytown and Bettystown), Jonathan Yates (Naas), Roy Connolly (Palmerstown Stud), Chris Selfridge (Moyola Park), Mark Mullen (Wexford), Paul Coughlan (Moate), Alec Myles (Newlands), Noel Crawford (Mourne), Thomas Kennedy (Woodbrook), Sean Barry (Fota Island), Caolan Rafferty Dundalk), Desmond Morgan (Mullingar), Edward O'Keeffe (Corrstown)
79 David Carey (Carton House), Kevin Stack ((Dungarvan), Ian O'Rourke (Royal Dublin), Paraic Connolly (Killeen Castle), William Russell (Clandeboye), Declan Reidy (Co Sligo), Niall Foley (The Island), Daniel Coyle (Co Louth), Ruairi Kennelly (Portmarnock), David Reddan (Nenagh), Craig Melvin (Corrstown), Stephen Walsh (Portmarnock), Seamus Cullen (Slieve Russell), Allan Kiernan (Forrest Little), Mark Shanahan (Castlemartyr)
80 Greg Carew (Edenderry), Ryan O'Dwyer (Callan), Ian Lynch (Rosslare), Tiarnan McLarnon (Massereene), James Monaghan (Royal Dublin), Christopher Maclean (Balmore Ltd), Edward Ryan (Lucan), Evan Farrell (Ardee), Paul Burke (Mullingar), Quentin Carew (Edenderry), David Foy (Laytown and Bettystown), Mark Morrissey (Mount Wolseley)
81 Padhraic O'Brien (Co Louth), Declan O'Neill (Carton House), David Brady (Co Sligo), Stephen McCarthy (Black Bush), Rowan Lester (Hermitage), Eoghan O'Donovan (Craddockstown), David Lally (Mullingar), Angus Carrick (Douglas Park)
82 Eoin O'Connor (Elm Park), Keagan Cummings (Elm Park), Jamie Sutherland (Galgorm Castle), Shane Hogan (Nenagh), Alan Dowling (Hermitage), Neville Steedman (Courtown), Stephen Brady (Co Sligo), Jonathan Gourley (Shandon Park)
83 Martin O'Toole (Lucan), Robbie Pierse (Grange), Declan Loftus (Castlebar)
85 Chris Tormey (Corballis Links), Michael Lancaster (Canada), Paul Flynn (Tramore)
86 Liam Hutchinson (Royal Dublin)
88 Theo Coffey (Slieve Russell)
DQ Harry Diamond (Belvoir Park)
WD Gerard Lawlor (Rathsallagh), Matthew Kane (Whitehead), Lee McMillan (Craddockstown).