Just three of the seven-strong Irish challenge are in postion to make the cut after the opening round of the KLM Open at Kennemer Golf and Country Club.
Simon Thornton (67) and Peter Lawrie (68) might be struggling to avoid Q-School but they are tied 26th and 43rd respectively with Paul McGinley fading to one under 69 worth a share of 61st.
All three are well behind former Open Champion Paul Lawrie and Australian Wade Ormsby, who shot nine under par 61s to lead by a shot from England’s Richard Bland.
Lawrie, who triumphed at Carnoustie in 1999, again showed his affinity for links golf with an eagle and seven birdies on the Dutch coast.
He had another eagle chance on the seventh hole – his 16th – but settled for birdie and parred the last two to set a new course record and continue his recent upturn in form.
His 61 was untroubled for most of the day until Ormsby produced a stunning finish with six birdies in his last seven holes – and three in a row to conclude the round – to grab a share of top spot.
The pair lead by one shot from Bland, while five players including home favourite Joost Luiten and last week’s runner-up in Russia, Estanislao Goya, are tied on seven under par.
American Tom Watson, playing in the Netherlands for the first time, opened with a one under par 69, while Martin Kaymer, the highest ranked player in the field, signed for a 67.
It was a tougher day for the other four Irish in the field, inclduing major winners Darren Clarke and Pádraig Harrington.
Clarke had 31 putts and Harrington 32 as they opened with one over 71s to be two shots outisde the projected cut.
Damien McGrane, another player battling to avoid Q-School, shot a two over 72 while Kevin Phelan, who is just inside the Top 110 in the Race to Dubai who keep their cards at 107th, is 133rd after a taking 33 putts in a three over 73.
KLM Open, Kennemer Golf and Country Club (Par 70)
61 W Ormsby (Aus), P Lawrie (Sco),
62 R Bland (Eng),
63 J Luiten (Ned), E Goya (Arg), R Rock (Eng), D Horsey (Eng), J Morrison (Eng),
64 M Madsen (Den), S Kjeldsen (Den), M Ilonen (Fin),
65 L Jensen (Den), R Cabrera-Bello (Esp), M Carlsson (Swe), A Sullivan (Eng), S Hend (Aus), S Gallacher (Sco),
66 M Ford (Eng), A Johnston (Eng), L Slattery (Eng), D Vancsik (Arg), D Lipsky (USA), T Hatton (Eng), E De La Riva (Esp), L Bjerregaard (Den),
67 A Pavan (Ita), J Singh (Ind), R Green (Aus), S Griffiths (Eng), M Korhonen (Fin), R Jacquelin (Fra), M Lundberg (Swe), R Dinwiddie (Eng), J Parry (Eng), M Kieffer (Ger), M Kaymer (Ger), Simon Thornton (Irl), A Quiros (Esp), F Zanotti (Par), D Brooks (Eng), E Pepperell (Eng), J Barnes (Eng),
68 M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra), C Bouniol (Fra), G Bourdy (Fra), D Howell (Eng), O Fisher (Eng), T Fisher Jnr (RSA), T Pieters (Bel), B Hebert (Fra), D Fichardt (RSA), A Cañizares (Esp), D Drysdale (Sco), Peter Lawrie (Irl), A Velasco (Esp), O Farr (Wal), P Peterson (USA), M Tullo (Chi), B Evans (Eng), J Scrivener (Aus),
69 W Besseling (Ned), C Doak (Sco), R Miller (Ned), M Foster (Eng), Paul McGinley (Irl), S Hutsby (Eng), R Gonzalez (Arg), B Dredge (Wal), R Finch (Eng), C Paisley (Eng), J Campillo (Esp), C Lloyd (Eng), G Storm (Eng), N Colsaerts (Bel), E Kofstad (Nor), M Bremner (RSA), G Havret (Fra), P Uihlein (USA), R Karlberg (Swe), P Martin Benavides (Esp), T Watson (USA), T Lewis (Eng), M Lampert (Ger), R Paratore (Ita),
70 S Jamieson (Sco), T Bjørn (Den), M Nixon (Eng), T Olesen (Den), M Crespi (Ita), M Jiménez (Esp), A Hansen (Den), R Ramsay (Sco), C Wood (Eng), F Osther (Ned), R Santos (Por), E Espana (Fra), T Van Der Walt (RSA), O Wilson (Eng), J Carlsson (Swe), D Gaunt (Aus), R Caron (am) (Ned),
71 S Kapur (Ind), A Wall (Eng), F Aguilar (Chi), N Fasth (Swe), O Henningsson (Swe), D Woltman (USA), J Van Der Vaart (Ned), R Saxton (Ned), K Broberg (Swe), R McEvoy (Eng), J Garcia Pinto (Esp), A Otaegui (Esp), M Fitzpatrick (Eng), G Adell (Swe), Pádraig Harrington (Irl), Darren Clarke (Nir), R Fisher (Eng), J Krietemeijer (am) (Ned),
72 S Wakefield (Eng), J Lagergren (Swe), H Otto (RSA), F Fritsch (Ger), D McGrane (Irl), B Ritthammer (Ger), T Levet (Fra), T Fleetwood (Eng), P Hanson (Swe), R Wattel (Fra), Y Yang (Kor), R Van West (am) (Ned), M Galiano Aguilar (am) (Esp),
73 J Kruger (RSA), J Ballesteros (Esp), C Lee (Sco), Kevin Phelan (Irl), J Donaldson (Wal), F De Haas (Ned), P Oriol (Esp), K Ferrie (Eng),
74 N Elvira (Esp), D Van Den Dungen (Ned), S Strüver (Ger), R Kind (Ned), P Edberg (Swe), R Karlsson (Swe), P Bootsma (am) (Ned),
75 P Maddy (Eng), J Lando Casanova (Fra), A Tadini (Ita), J Roos (RSA), D Brown (am) (Eng),
76 A Marshall (Eng), J Edfors (Swe),
77 G Stal (Fra),
80 C Del Moral (Esp).