Ardglass' Cormac Sharvin took yet another step towards a Walker Cup call up when he opened with an immaculate 65 for a one stroke lead in the St Andrews Links Trophy at the Home of Golf.
The Ardglass star, a top 3 finisher in his last three starts, stormed to the turn on the Jubilee Course in six under 30, picked up another shot at the par-five 11th and parred his way home for a seven under 65 and one-shot lead over Scots Connor Syme and Jack McDonald
As the sun shone on the Home of Golf, Sharvin, who continued his impressive start to the season already posted top-three finishes in the Lytham Trophy (second), Irish Amateur (second) and last week’s Carrick Neill Scottish Stroke Play Championship, where he tied for third..
cDonald, a team-mate of Sharvin’s at the University of Stirling, recently helped Ayrshire to success in the Scottish Area Team Championship and will be looking to strengthen his claim for a place in Nigel Edwards’ GB&I side to face the USA at Lytham later this year.
But it remains to be seen how they can deny Sharvin now, given his form.
Irish Close champion John Ross Galbraith said at the East of Ireland that his game was about to come good again and so it proved with a five under par 67 worth solo fourth for the Whitehead man.
Dermot McElroy and Jack Hume, two more Walker Cup contenders, are well placed after two under 70s with Stackstown's Richard Bridges inside the top 25 after a 71 featuring one birdie, two bogeys and an eagle three at the 11th.
Hume had an eagle at the sixth in his 70 while McElroy had six birdies in his matching score.
Players will face testing conditions with strong winds forecast for Saturday’s second round, also played over the Jubilee Course, before the top 40 players and ties battle it out for the final 36 holes on Sunday amid the Open Championship grandstands on the Old Course.
Level par 72s for Alex Gleeson, Colm Campbell and Robin Dawson left them just inside the Top 40 but there is work to be done for Eugene Smith (73), Gary Hurley (73), Gavin Moynihan (74), East of Ireland champion Stuart Grehan (77) and The Island's Paul McBride (77).
St Andrews Links Trophy
Round one - Jubilee links (Par 72)
65 Cormac Sharvin (Ireland)
66 Connor Syme (Drumoig Golf Club), Jack McDonald (Kilmarnock (Barassie) Golf Club)
67 John-Ross Galbraith (Ireland)
68 Mario Galiano (Spain)
69 Michele Cea (Italy), Greig Marchbank (Thornhill Golf Club), Richard Mansell (Beau Desert Golf Club), Cedric Van Wassenhove (Belgium), Paul Kinnear (Formby Golf Club)
70 Antonio Murdaca (Australia), Gianmaria Rean Trinchero (Italy), Edgar Catherine (France), Jack Hume (Ireland), Richard James (Aberystwyth Golf Club), Liam Johnston (Dumfries & County Golf Club), Markus Maukner (Austria), Craig Howie (Peebles Golf Club), Daniel Wasteney (Lindrick Golf Club), Dermot McElroy (Ireland), Peter Launer Baek (Denmark), Nick Marsh (Huddersfield Golf Club)
71 Mathias Eggenberger (Switzerland), Kiran Day (Australia), Ben Eccles (Australia), Ben Wall (Hayling Golf Club), Euan Walker (Kilmarnock (Barassie) Golf Club), Daniel Young (Craigie Hill Golf Club), Lucas Herbert (Australia), Linus Vaisanen (Finland), Federico Zucchetti (Italy), Alfie Plant (Sundridge Park Golf Club), Filippo Campigli (Italy), Richard Bridges (Ireland), Thomas Perrot (France), Alexandre Daydou (France), Ivan Cantero (Spain)
72 Maxence De Craecker (Belgium), Mans Berglund (Sweden), Ryan Chisnall (New Zealand), Jamie Bower (Meltham Golf Club), Craig Ross (Kirkhill Golf Club), Luke Johnson (Kings Lynn Golf Club), Alex Gleeson (Ireland), Zach Galliford (Borth & Ynyslas Golf Club), Colm Campbell (Ireland), Xabier Gorospe (Spain), Robin Dawson (Ireland), Adriá Arnaus (Spain), Ashton Turner (Kenwick Park Golf Club), Ashley Chesters (Hawkstone Park Golf Club), Emil Sogaard (Denmark), Jimmy Mullen (Royal North Devon Golf Club), Zach Murray (Australia), Tom Gandy (Rowany Golf Club), Robert MacIntyre (Glencruitten Golf Club), Tomasz Anderson (Brocket Hall Golf Club), Robbie van West (Netherlands), Grant Forrest (Craigielaw Golf Club), Sean Towndrow (Southport & Ainsdale Golf Club), Romain Langasque (France)
73 Ben Amor (Marlborough Golf Club), Vitor Lopes (Portugal), Jade Buitendag (South Africa), Joe Dean (Lindrick Golf Club), Luca Cianchetti (Italy), Owen Edwards (Llanwern Golf Club), Eugene Smith (Ireland), Taylor MacDonald (Australia), Daniel Brown (Bedale Golf Club), Ryan Ruffels (Australia), Alasdair McDougall (Elderslie Golf Club), Jeremy Gandon (France), Jacopo Vecchi Fossa (Italy), Michael Saunders (Dartford Golf Club), Gary Hurley (Ireland), James Allan (Chelmsford Golf Club), DJ Loypur (Australia), Adam Chapman (Windermere Golf Club), Antoine Rozner (France), Ben Kinsley (St Andrews Golf Club)
74 Brett Coletta (Australia), Ryan Cornfield (Enville Golf Club), Gavin Moynihan (Ireland), Jamie Savage (Cawder Golf Club), Bryce McCabe (South Africa), Harrison Endycott (Australia), Paolo Ferraris (Italy), Andrew Wilson (Darlington Golf Club), Daniel Gale (Australia), Alexander Wilson (Ireland), Jason Smith (South Africa), Lawrence Allan (Alva Golf Club), Joey Savoie (Canada), Teodoro Soldati (Italy), Edoardo Raffaele Lipparelli (Italy), Marco Penge (Golf at Goodwood Golf Club)
75 Ewen Ferguson (Bearsden Golf Club), James Hart Du Preez (South Africa), Matthew Spacey (South Africa), Hendrikus Stoop (South Africa), Matthew Clark (Kilmacolm Golf Club), Richard Jouven (France), Calum Fyfe (Cawder Golf Club), Adam Dunton (McDonald Golf Club), Graeme Robertson (Glenbervie Golf Club), Jamie Dick (Sherdons Golf Centre), Scott Gregory (Corhampton Golf Club)
76 Martin Eriksson (Sweden), Federico Zuckermann (Italy), Evan Griffith (Conwy(Caernarvonshire) Golf Club), Ashley Mason (Glen Gorse Golf Club), Scott Gibson (Southerness Golf Club), Teaghan Gauche (South Africa), Ugo Coussaud (France), Juuso Kahlos (Finland), Gisli Sveinbergsson (Iceland), Tomas Bessa (Portugal), Lorenzo Scalise (Italy), Nicolas Platret (France)
77 Simon Zach (Czech Republic), Jaime Lopez Rivarola (Argentina), Martin Rohwer (South Africa), Sam Whitaker (Blankney Golf Club), Stuart Grehan (Ireland), Marco Iten (Switzerland), Paul McBride (Ireland)
78 Joshua Davies (Celtic Manor Resort), Jack Bush (Morlais Castle Golf Club), Tom Watson (South Africa), Calum Hill (Tantallon Golf Club)
79 Riccardo Michelini (Italy), Leonard Bem (France), Andrew Schonewille (Australia), Seb Crookall-Nixon (Silloth on Solway Golf Club), Jeroen Krietemeijer (Netherlands), Alejandro Tosti (Argentina)
80 Ben Wheeler (Purley Downs Golf Club)
81 Maximilian Boegel (Germany), Hamish Ireland (New Golf Club St Andrews), Robin Roussel (France)
82 Jonathan Thomson (Lindrick Golf Club)
83 Oliver Gillberg (Sweden)
84 Cameron Davis (Australia)