Local amateur James Ross shot a five-under-par 65 to sit just one shot off the lead after the first round of the HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour event at Royal Burgess.
The 2013 Scottish Amateur of the Year, who is attached to the host club, is one of three golfers who trail Gary King by a shot, along with England’s Jack Colegate (Deanridge Golf Club) and James Watts (Kingsway Golf Centre).
King (Tyrrells Wood) made seven birdies in his opening round, a bogey at the fourth being the only mark on his card as he moved to the top of the leaderboard in the event which carries a £40,000 prize fund.
Ross made eight birdies in his opening-round 65 and was pleased with his efforts during his first experience of professional tournament golf.
“You can never base anything off one event, but it is nice to get a feel for what a professional tournament is like,” he said.
“This is my first pro event. I have played Open qualifying, but that is open to pros and amateurs. I am very comfortably here because I am a member and have been since I was a boy, so it is nice to have some local support. I had eight birdies today and I hit a few wedges quite close. I made three bogeys, but the one at 17 was the only one where I thought, fair enough.”
He added: “I will probably turn pro at the end of the summer.”