Noel Fox made two birdies and an eagle in his last four holes to open up a one-stroke lead after the opening day of the Johnston Mooney & O'Brien PGA Challenge at Carton House.
The 42-year-old from the GUI National Academy carded a five under par round of 68 over the O'Meara course to edge ahead of Shane Franklin, Colm Moriarty, Neil O'Briain, Brendan McCarroll, Damien Mooney and Mark Staunton.
Fox went to the turn in one under 36 with birdies at the first, fourth and ninth offset by bogeys at the seventh and eighth.
He picked up the pace on the back nine recording one bogey, three birdies and an eagle on the par five 17th as he came home in four under 32.
The second and final round takes place on Wednesday.
Johnston Mooney & O'Brien PGA Challenge, Carton House – O'Meara Course (Par 73)
After round one
68 NFox(GUI National Academy)
69 S Franklin, C Moriarty(Drive Golf Performance Ltd), N O'Briain (Old Conna GC), B McCarroll(Narin & Portnoo GC), D Mooney (Nevada Bobs Belfast), M Staunton(Delgany GC)
70 M McDermott(Pure Golf Leopardstown), D Barry (Douglas GC)
71 D McGrane, D Ryan(Cahir Park GC), T Rice (Limerick GC).