A strong start and a strong finish to his round has John Murphy at the right end of the leaderboard after the opening day of the Swiss Challenge in Folgensbourg.
The Kinsale man began his round with three straight birdies and ended it with two more back-to-back on his way to a four-under 68 at Golf Saint Apollinaire which, ironically, is in France.
In between those, 24-year-old Murphy had two bogeys and another birdie, and in a share for fifth at the close of play he is just two shots back of leaders Bryce Easton and Jeong weon Ko.
Both players were bogey-free for their rounds, each carding six birdies in a pair of 66s to lead by one from Spain’s Eduard Rousaud and Scotland’s Bradley Neil, and Easton is excited by the potential for a late season surge.
“I’m trying to kick on with a few events remaining in the season. I’ve put myself into good positions this year but haven’t managed to do much with it so I’m really trying to finish the season strong,” said the South African.
“I’ve had a few top tens but to finish in the top 20 you need to be finishing second or winning tournaments. On the European Challenge Tour you are only ever one week away from moving into the top 20 and I still believe I can get my DP World Tour card.”
Gary Hurley had a rather uneventful day as he was bogey-free but only had two birdies in a 70 to sit in a tie for 16th at two-under-par alongside Gavin Moynihan, who mixed five birdies and three bogeys.
Four birdies, two bogeys and a triple-bogey has David Carey just inside the cut line as it stands at one-over-par, tied for 57th, but Tom McKibbin has work to do after a three-over 75 in his opening round.
Ruaidhri McGee and Robin Dawson are a shot further back after beginning their tournaments with a pair of 76s, with Conor Purcell needing a big second round to make the cut after a seven-over 79.