Peter Dallat was the pick of the Irish bunch as the Alps Tour Winter Series got underway at the Ein Bay Open near Cairo.
The 28-year old, who represents Golf de Lavaux in Switzerland, carded four birdies en route to a three-under par 69 that puts him in a share of 14th place.
120 players from 20 different countries had been sharpening their tools in preparation for the beginning of the 2019 Alps Tour season in Egypt but that number was reduced to 119 after Naas professional, Conor O’Rourke was forced to fly home due to a hand injury.
His clubmate, Jonathan Yates is next best of the Irish after returning five birdies and four bogeys in a one-under par 71 that sees him in a share of 45th spot heading into day two on the North shores of the Red Sea.
The news wasn’t so good for Simon Bryan (+2), Michael Dallat (+4) or Dubliner David Carey (+4) who all struggled on the opening day and face an uphill task to make the 36-hole cut.
Egypt has been welcoming the start of Alps Tour seasons for seven years now, and Sokhna Golf Club, with its beautiful resort and its 27-holes golf course, has already proved to be the perfect venue for assigning the first two titles of the year and the €40,000 prize money at stake, with €5,800 going to the winner.
Ein Bay Open will continue on Wednesday and is set for 54-holes on Sokhna Golf, B and C Course. After the second round, the top-40 pros and ties will go on playing for the title and for sharing the prize money.