Portmarnock's Adrian Morrow and Ballyclare's Alan Lilley fired one over 74s to take a three stroke lead after the first round of the Ulster Seniors Championship at Donegal Golf Club.
A stiff breeze blowing across the Murvagh Peninsula made for testing conditions for the 120 man field and with the early holes on both nines playing into the wind, they proved the toughest challenge.
Irish Seniors Amateur Open champion Morrow covered the front nine in two over par 39 dropping shots at the tough par-four second and the fourth before coming home in 35 with birdies at the 12th and 17th and a dropped shot at the 14th.
Lilley had an excellent first nine of three under 34 with birdies at the first, fifth, seventh and eighth and a dropped shot at the fourth.
The 10th and 11th were playing into the breeze and dropped shots at both of these together with bogeys at the 14th and 16th led to an inward nine of 40.
The rest of the field are led by a group of four on 77 that includes three-time winner Garth McGimpsey, who won the championship when it was last played at Murvagh in 2010.
Last year’s winner, Maurice Kelly, lies a further three shots back on 80.
With a brisk breeze forecast for day two, the players can look forward to another searching test.
Ulster Seniors Amateur Open, Donegal GC (Murvagh) Par 73
74 Adrian Morrow (Portmarnock), Alan Lilley (Ballyclare)
77 Billy Donlon (Birr), Garth McGimpsey (Bangor), Hugh Smyth (Mourne), Sean McGarry (Ballymena)
78 Eamonn Crawford (Mourne), Nigel Woods (Bangor), Tony Goode (Lucan), David Cromie (Royal Liverpool)
79 Shane Magee (Lurgan), Neville Steedman (Courtown), John Moyna (Rossmore), Adrian Wynne (Strandhill)
80 Maurice Kelly (Naas), Seamus Doherty (Ballyliffin)
81 Keith Lapsley (Dunfanaghy), Barry O'Gorman (Rossmore), Mervyn Eager (Lucan), James Mcilwaine (Carrickfergus), Val Smyth (Co. Louth), Fred Dawson (Ballymena), Nigel Duke (Killiney), Richard Brooker (Skerries)
82 Michael Gaynor (Co. Meath), Richard Mcdowell (Royal Belfast), Brendan Sheehan (Courtown), Brendan McDonnell (K Club), Brendan O'Malley (The Royal Dublin), Ronnie Berry (Rossmore), Alistair Campbell (Massereene), Tom Tyrrell (The Heath)
83 George Mellerick (Fota Island), Mick Ahern (Skerries), Barry Reddan (Co. Louth), Justin Coughlin (Donegal), Kieran O'Mahony (Galway)
84 Eric C. O'brien (Portmarnock), David Boyd (Royal Belfast), Peter Cowley (Cork), Lord Gort (Castletown), Alan Mullen (Laytown & Bettystown), Michael Coote (Tralee), Noel Mannion (Dun Laoghaire), Jan Gilbert (Malone), Larry Hogan (Mount Temple), Raph Smyth (Laytown & Bettystown)
85 Des Egan (Loughrea), John Houlihan (Dooks), Patrick Higgins (Forrest Little), Oliver Roche (Donegal), Steven Bell (Gracehill), Alan Patterson (Royal Portrush), Joseph Dowey (Lurgan), Martin Higgins (Claremorris), Michael Jones (Moortown), Kevin Sheehy (Athlone), Sean Duffy (Westmanstown)
86 John Armstrong (Greenisland), Steven Monteith (Slieve Russell), Ivan Brown (Castleblayney), Marcus Conroy (Galway), John Mullen (Co. Louth), Stephen Jeffers (Castletown), Hugh Mackeown (Portmarnock), John McCann (Co. Louth), Richard Gallaugher (Royal Portrush)
87 Rory Timlin (Galway), Neil Kilgallon (European), Paul Cooley (Portstewart), Dermot Morris (Limerick), John Carroll (Bandon), Thomas Byrne (Greystones), Fergus Caine (Co. Louth), Patrick Smyth (Killiney), Jim Harnett (Portmarnock)
88 Sean F. Hosty (Galway), Patrick Morgan (Co. Sligo), Hugh Donohue (Hollywood Lakes), Dominick Fitzpatrick (Moate), David McHugh (Douglas), Donald McCart (Sherwood Forest), Tony Finn (Cork)
89 Brian Rogers (K Club), Bobby O'Shea (Donegal), John Waters (Spain), Tom Campion (Athlone)
90 Eamon Connolly (Blainroe), Niall Finnegan (Gort), Paul Hautz (Delgany), Terry Lilly (Slade Valley), Garry Campbell (Greystones), John Mcmeekin (Antrim)
91 Richard Cotter (Delgany), P.J. Phelan (Cahir Park)
92 Tony McGlynn (Craddockstown), Pat Lynch (Slade Valley), Frank Cassidy (Dunmurry), Jerry Gore (Oughterard), Rory Fitzgerald (Tramore)
93 Alex Philp (Massereene)
94 Kevin Gallagher (Kirkistown Castle), Liam Treacy (K Club), Martin Beattie (Whitehead)
95 Vincent O'Rourke (Naas), Ian McVerry (Warrenpoint), Stephen O'Donovan (Co. Sligo), Larry Gould (Belvoir Park)
96 Donal Brazil (Mount Temple)
97 Desmond Fitzpatrick (Dungannon)
98 Patrick O'Brien (Forrest Little.)
99 Jonathan Hutchinson (Rathmore)
NR Brian Farrell (Balcarrick), Larry Cushen (The Heath), Jody Gilhooly (Edmondstown), Donal O'donovan (Bandon), Michael Darcy (Oughterard), Matt Donohue (Portumna), Gordon Parkhill (Larne)
WD Ian Smyth (Clandeboye)