Kilkenny’s Luke Donnelly and Mark Power were among the 13 players to break par in the opening round of the Copa de Andalucía Masculina 2017 in Spain.
The teenagers are part of a seven strong Irish contingent at Real Club de Golf Guadalmina in Marbella chasing World Amateur Golf Ranking Points and a fast start to the new year.
Madrid's Alejandro del Rey and Barcelona’s Adriá Arnaus fired seven under par 65s to lead by four strokes from Rody Haije (Netherlands) and Andalucia's Felipe Barrena Rodriguez.
Spaniards Tomás Millet, Xabier Gorospe and Antonio Cruz-Conde shot two under 70s to end the day tied for fifth with Donnelly, who had three birdies and a bogey in his two under par effort with birdies at the 16th and 17th key.
The 72 hole strokeplay event will see the top 50 and ties in the 90-strong field after 54 holes qualify for Thursday’s final round.
Irish Boys champion Power, now a member of the Irish Senior panel, had to storm home in six under par 30 for his 71.
The winner of last year’s Peter McEvoy Trophy, Power bogeyed the fourth and fifth, then followed birdies at the sixth and seventh with a quadruple bogey eight at the eighth as he went out in five over 41.
It was a different story on the back nine, however, as he birdied the 10th, 12th, 14th, 16th and 17th in superb style.
It was more of a struggle for the rest of the Irish with Naas’ Robert Brazill and Jonathan Yates, and Rosslare’s John Brady ted for 26th after two over 74s.
Thomas Mulligan, a member with Power of last year’s Great Britain and Ireland Jacques Leglise Trophy team, was out in level par but came home in 40 for a 76 that leaves him just outside the projected cut line in tied 57th.
Another teenager, Golf de Clement Ader’s Eamonn O’Driscoll, is 76th after a 79.