Hermitage's Rowan Lester showed his class when he fired three birdie twos in a two under 70 to lead the 14-strong Irish challenge in the Brabazon Trophy at the London Golf Club.
The Irish international is tied for 10th place, four behind Australian Cameron Davis, who carded a six under 66 to lead by one from England's Jamie Bower.
John Ross Galbraith, Alex Gleeson and Colin Fairweather share 15th after 71s with St Andrews Links Trophy winner Conor O'Rourke, Walker Cup player Jack Hume, Ballymena's Dermot McElroy and British Amateur semi-finalist Paul McBride all carding 73s to share 44th on one over.
The top 60 and ties make the last two rounds which means that Irish Amateur Open winner Colm Campbell (74), West of Ireland champion Jonny Yates (74), Wentworth's Eoin Leonard (74), Co Sligo's Sean Flanagan (76), Irish Close champion Tiarnan McLarnon (80) and Shannon's Danny Brennan (81) have varying amounts of work to do.
Brabazon Trophy, London Golf Club (Par 72)
- T10 LESTER, Rowan Hermitage Golf Club -2 70
- T15 GALBRAITH, John Ross Whitehead Golf Club -1 71
- T15 GLEESON, Alex Castle Golf Club -1 71
- T15 FAIRWEATHER, Colin The Knock Golf Club -1 71
- T44 O’ROURKE, Conor Naas Golf Club +1 73
- T44 HUME, Jack Naas Golf Club +1 73
- T44 MCBRIDE, Paul The Island Golf Club +1 73
- T44 MCELROY, Dermot Ballymena Golf Club +1 73
- T63 CAMPBELL, Colm Warrenpoint Golf Club +2 74
- T63 YATES, Jonathan Naas Golf Club +2 74
- T63 LEONARD, Eoin Wentworth Golf Club +2 74
- T96 FLANAGAN, Sean Co. Sligo Golf Club +4 76
- T134 MCLARNON, Tiarnan Massereene Golf Club +8 80
- T137 BRENNAN, Daniel Shannon Golf Club +9 81