West Waterford star Hurley, 21, went into the third round in a four-way tie for the lead with England international Ben Stow, Finland’s Lauri Ruuska and Italian Renato Paratore, who were all on four under.
Hurley, who teed ten minutes before his rival trio, only managed four holes yesterday, but finished the day three under par, and one shot ahead of Paratore and Ruuska, who were tied for second having also only played four holes.
The players will return this morning at 6.30am to finish their third rounds, before the final 18 holes later in the day.
There are also currently two other Irishman in the top five, with Chris Selfridge and Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy three shots back, and tied for fifth.
Richard Bridges (Stackstown), Gavin Moynihan (The Island Club) and Jack Hume (Naas) were on five over par as they all attempt to make the cut, while Robin Dawson is three shots further adrift..
Struggling to make the cut, though, were Cormac Sharvin of Ardglass and Stuart Grehan of Tullamore, who both did finish – but have totalled 13-over par 226 for the 54 holes..
The Island Club’s Paul McBride was one shot further back on 14 over, and Geoff Lenehan of Portmarnock (231) 18 over par.
Elsewhere, Irish duo Adrian Morrow and George Wilson both finished tied for sixth at the Senior Amateur Championship at Ganton in Yorkshire.
Portmarnock’s former European seniors champion Morrow hit a final round 76 for a 17 over par 230 while compatriot Wilson of Calcot Park went round in 75 on day three.
The pair finished six shots behind winner Brady Exber of the USA, who took the title with an 11 over 224, four shots ahead of England’s Stephen East.
Irish seniors champion Maurice Kelly (Naas) finished tied for 20th on 21 over par 234, as did defending champion George Zahringer.
Exber has also secured his spot at the Senior Open Championship at Sunningdale next year.