Jack McDonald secured a share of the lead and Daniel Young nestled in just behind him as the Scottish duo got off to promising starts in the Alps Tour Grand Final in Italy, writes Martin Dempster.
In an event won 12 months ago by Englishman Matt Wallace, who was in the mix in last week’s Italian Open on the European Tour, McDonald opened with a six-under-par 65 at Golf Club des Iles Borromees.
The 24-year-old Ayrshireman illuminated his card with two eagles and also signed for five birdies as he set the pace along with Frenchman Antoine Rozner.
“I got off to quite a poor start as I was a couple over after five but then eagled the sixth and birdied the seventh to get me going,” said former Walker Cup player McDonald, whose best performance on the third-tier circuit this season was a tie for fifth in the Lignano Open in July.
“I like the course. There are a few tricky tee shots but, if you can negotiate them, there are a lot of chances, and the greens are great as well,” he added.
Maintaining the good form that earned him a top-five finish in the Abruzzo open last month, Perth man Young is sitting joint fourth after signing for six birdies in a 67.
Elsewhere, Blairgowrie’s Bradley Neil made the best start among four Scots playing in the Challenge Tour’s Foshan Open in China.
Bidding to cement his top-15 spot in the Road to Oman, Neil opened with a two-under 70 to sit five shots off the lead, held by Englishman Callum Tarren.
Grant Forrest, who tied for second in the Hainan Open last Sunday, carded a 72, as did Ross Kellett, while Jack Doherty had to settle for a 74.
Forrest’s card was a mixed bag containing an eagle, three birdies, a double-bogey and three bogeys.