Rookie professional Robert MacIntyre finished with a flourish to fare best out of nine Scottish hopefuls in the opening round of the European Tour Qualifying School in Spain.
On a day when Scott Henry and Duncan Stewart suffered disappointing starts in their bids to win back cards, MacIntyre birdied four of his last seven holes on the Lakes Course at Lumine Golf Club in Tarragona.
The late burst, which came after he’d parred the opening 12 holes, gave the 21-year-old, who won on the MENA Tour in Kuwait in just his second start in the paid ranks, a four-under 67 and a share of seventh spot after the first of six circuits.
David Law, a winner at this venue in a second-stage event last year, also got off to a promising start with a three-under 68 on the same course, where Frenchman Gary Stal’s 64 was the best round of the day on either of the two layouts being used.
Opening his card bid on the Hills Course in a battle to finish in the top 25 and ties, Connor Syme had to settle for a level-par 72 after dropping two shots in the final three holes to sit joint-58th.
With a mixed bag of four birdies and five bogeys in his 73 on the same course, Chris Doak is sitting joint-80th, while Ewen Ferguson and Grant Forrest are both just outside the top 100 after their two-over opening efforts.
Ross Kellett started with a double-bogey then finished with a triple-bogey for a 77, a shot better than Henry and Stewart as they both got off to poor starts.
Henry, who tied for second at PGA Catalunya in this event 12 months ago, has his work cut out to get in the mix this time after carding a double-bogey and four bogeys, while Stewart, who was also on the main Tour last season, opened with an error-strewn effort.