Daniel Brown grabs early lead as Chris Selfridge gets into the mix at Amateur Championship

Ireland's 'Robin Dawson in action at Royal Portrush on day one of The Amateur Championship
Ireland's 'Robin Dawson in action at Royal Portrush on day one of The Amateur Championship

Chris Selfridge (Moyola Park) leads the Irish challenge after the opening day of The Amateur Championship qualifying at Royal Portrush and Portstewart.

Selfridge carded a two under par round of 69 at Portstewart on Monday, good enough for a share of seventh place.

England’s Daniel Brown leads the way after carding a four under round of 66 at Portrush.

Ireland’s Jack Hume (Naas), Paul Dunne (Greystones) and Stuart Grehan (Tullamore) are three back on one under.

Former Irish Close champion, Cormac Sharvin is on level par, the same mark as 2012 North of Ireland champ, Rory McNamara (Headfort).

“I would have taken a 70 before I went out to play,” said Ardglass player Sharvin.

“The rough is penal out there. Hitting fairways is like gold. I would hate to see how high the scores climb if it got really windy.”

Brown, who represented the victorious England team in the 2012 Boys Home Internationals and is a former Yorkshire Amateur champion, birdied three of his opening five holes at Royal Portrush before dropping shots on the 6th and 7th. A further shot slipped on the 10th but four birdies on the back nine were enough to give him the round one lead.

“I got off to a good start and holed a nice putt at the third,” said the 19-year-old.

“The pin was tucked away at the back left and I holed from about 25ft. That was a nerve settler. My game plan was to keep it in play and find the fairways as I knew the rough was penal and it is tight in places. I did that pretty well today.

“I had a bit of a wobble in the middle of the round but came back strongly and had a really good back nine. I won’t change my game plan for tomorrow but it’s nice to have a bit of a cushion here in case you have a bad spell.”

The second round of qualifying continues today with the leading 64 players progressing to the match-play stages.