Ireland tied second in Greece; Higgins opens with 68
 Waterville Golf Links' David Higgins during day four of The 2016 PGA Play-Offs. Photo: Julian Herbert/Getty Images

Waterville Golf Links' David Higgins during day four of The 2016 PGA Play-Offs. Photo: Julian Herbert/Getty Images

Ireland are five strokes behind Scotland after the opening round of the 2017 International Team Championship at Costa Navarino in Greece.

The Scottish trio of Chris Currie, Greig Hutcheon and Paul McKechnie lead on six-under 136 with Ireland tied for second with the Netherlands on one-under 141.

Waterville's Higgins was Ireland's leading player with a three-under-par 68 as Tulfarris' Simon Thornton shot 73 and Delgany's Mark Staunton a six-over 77.

“It is a very interesting course,” said Higgins of the Bernhard Langer designed Dunes Course.

“It is not overly long but it is very important that you are accurate with your second shots. If you are one yard the wrong side of the flag birdie chances can turn into bogeys.

“Obviously we would like to be a little closer to the leaders, but we are still in second place. A couple of good ones tomorrow and we will be right back in it.”

The best two individual scores each day from the team of three count towards the overall team score in the 72-hole event, which concludes on Saturday.

2017 International Team Championship, Costa Navarino, Greece (Par 71)

Detailed scores

1 Scotland -6 136
T2 Ireland -1 141
T2 Holland -1 141
T4 Finland Par 142
T4 England Par 142
T4 Italy Par 142
7 Wales +1 143
T8 Belgium +3 145
T8 Greece* +3 145
T10 Sweden +4 146
T10 Switzerland +4 146
T12 Austria +7 149
T12 Germany +7 149
T14 Slovenia* +8 150
T14 South Africa +8 150
T16 Denmark +9 151
T16 Poland* +9 151
18 Iceland* +14 156
19 Czech Republic +15 157
T20 Croatia +16 158
T20 Norway +16 158