Michael Hoey gets off to strong start at British Masters in Southport
Northern Ireland's Michael Hoey is among the front runners after the first day at the Betfred British Masters at Hillside Golf Club in Southport.
The Galgorm club man shot a four-under par 68 in his opening round to put him inside the top-10, however he's already five shots off the lead after a stunning round from leader Matthew Jordan.
The sponsor's invite shot nine birdies in a flawless round to shoot a course record 63 and hold a two-shot lead over Sweden's Marcus Kinhult.
Hoey, meanwhile, sits alongside tournament host Tommy Fleetwood at -4 and will be pleased with his day's work after being one of the last into the field.
The 40-year-old was perfect up until the 18th, firing five birdies and looking good until a bogey on his final hole saw his round end on a sour note.
Birdies fell at the second, fifth and seventh in a strong opening nine holes that saw him turn in 33, before further birdies came at the 13th and 17th prior to his dropped stroke.
Tomorrow, Hoey starts his second round on the 10th hole at 7:40am and will be looking to post a low number for the rest of the field to chase.
Elsewhere, local favourites Lee Westwood and Matt Wallace were both making waves having both hit six-under thru 15 holes, with Fleetwood among that large group at four-under.
Dutch star Joost Luiten headlines the group of players at two-under, while Eddie Pepperell, Tyrrell Hatton and Tom Lewis all sit at two-under par after their opening rounds.
Meanwhile, on the Challenge Tour, Ardglass star Cormac Sharvin is four shots off the lead after the first round at the Prague City Challenge after a three-under 69.
After bogeying two of his first five holes, Sharvin excelled by carding five birdies on his way in to lie four behind the trio of Ewen Ferguson, Billy Spooner and Wil Besseling.
Belfast Telegraph Digital