The pair carded matching four-under-par 68s in the opening round of the Monaghan Irish Challenge at Concra Wood in Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, to sit only two off the lead, held by Welshman Rhys Enoch.
Hill, pictured, who landed his breakthrough success on the second-tier circuit when winning the Northern Ireland Open at Galgorm Castle in August, made his score with a burst of four birdies in five holes on the back nine.
Stewart, meanwhile, carded a bogey-free effort as he bids to reclaim a spot on the European Tour, having earned a step up two years ago on the back of a win in the Madrid Challenge. A third Scot, Robert MacIntyre, also broke par with a one-under-71.
Elsewhere, an English side led by Ricoh Womens’ British Open champion Georgia Hall made a strong start in the UL International Crown in Korea.
On the ﬁrst day of four-ball matches, England picked up three points thanks to a convincing 4&3 win by Jodi Ewart Shadof and Bronte Law while Hall and Charley Hull fought back tenaciously from three down with ﬁve to play to earn a valuable point against Australia.
The Swedes, meanwhile, ended the day with two points after a win and a loss against the defending champions, the USA.
Korea were the only team to ﬁnish with a maximum four points after shutting out Chinese Taipei in living up to their billing as hot favourites to capture the title.