England’s Jonathan Hurst has set his sights on the West of Ireland Amateur Open title after a level-par 71 gave him the first round lead at wind-blown Rosses Point today.
The 22-year-old from Chorley in Lancashire was disappointed to lose to Strandhill's Tommy McGowan in the quarter-finals last year.
He now hopes to go all the way this season and earn an England call up with victory in the weather-delayed championship in Co Sligo.
A three-under par back nine gave Hurst a one-stroke lead over Lee Valley’s Niall Gorey (72) with Forrest Little's Eoin Arthurs two shots off the pace after a 73.
Friday’s first round was postponed due to high winds, but conditions were still tough as just 49 players in the 120-strong field broke 80.
Title favourites Simon Ward and Shane Lowry carded four-over par 75s as defending champion Joe Lyons dropped four shots late in his round for a 77.
The top 64 after Sunday's second qualifying round will go through to Monday's matchplay stages.
Radisson-SAS West of Ireland Amateur Open Championship Qualifying, first round scores:
71 J Hurst (Shaw Hill, UK)
72 N Gorey (Lee Valley)
73 E Arthurs (Forrest Little)
74 C Cunningham (Carton House), D Finn (Mallow), P Buckley (Kanturk)
75 B Jones (Cuddington UK), E O'Sullivan (The Island), S Crowe (Dunmurry), S Lowry (Esker Hills), G McDermott (Co Sligo), E McCormack (Galway), S Ward (Co Louth), C Curley (Newlands), D Downie (Sutton), H Diamond (Clandeboye)
76 A Hogan (Newlands), C O'Connor (Athlone), J Patterson (Knock), M Durcan (Co Sligo), R McCarthy (The Island), A Christie (Tyrrelswood, UK), R Leonard (Banbridge), K McDonagh (Athlone), T Neenan (Lahinch), P O'Hanlon (Curragh), M Hemphill (Portstewart)
77 M Lavelle (The K Club), G Hall (Edenderry), N Steven (St Andrews, UK), R Cannon (L'town & B'town), D Sutton (Lockerbie, UK), D Morgan (Mullingar), J Lyons (Galway)
78 P Purdy (Shandon Park), C Doran (Banbridge), N Kearney (Royal Dublin), G Lawlor (City West), P Killeen (Claremorris), D Lernihan (Castle), K Stack (Dungarvan/UCC), B Keenan (The Heath)
79 R Boal (Castle), R Maher (Nenagh), N Grant (Knock), M Sinclair (Knock), D Crowe (Dunmurry), B Galway (Cairndhu), J Hughes (Douglas)
80 J Monaghan (The Island), G Kelly (Co Louth), D O'Donovan (Muskerry), B Walton (The Island), A McCormick (Scrabo), J Senior (Heysham, UK), M Hammond (Moyola Park), P McGrath (Dromoland), T McGowan (Strandhill), P Cutler (Portstewart)
81 A Harty (West Waterford), T O'Flynn (Fota Island), B Fowles (Wentworth, UK), G Carew (Edenderry), D Kelleher (Portmarnock), S Paul (Tandragee), R Durnin (L'town & B'town), J Fox (Portmarnock), N Boyd (Donaghadee), B Cashman (Belvoir Park), W McCully (Donaghadee), R McConnell (Belvoir Park), G McKenna (Fortwilliam)
82 B Reddan (Co Louth), G McGloin (Bundoran), I Winstanley (Formby, UK), R McGee (Roda Golf, Spain), A Moran (Tuam), A Dowling (Hermitage), G Bohill (Co Louth), C Selfridge (Moyola Park), G Dillon (The Heath), G Boyd (Donaghadee)
83 S Webster (Castle), C Keightley (Garforth, UK), P Sheehy (Lahinch), L Reilly (Galgorm Castle), D McCusker (Moyola Park), P Higgins (Mullingar), H Boch (Ballybunion), A McAllister (The International, USA), A Harrington (Cork)
84 N O'Connor (Elm Park), D Lally (Tuam), M Horan (Birr), C Drumm (Rosslare), M Shanahan (West Waterford), D McNeill (Rosapenna), S Moloney (Castletroy), D O'Driscoll (Ballybunion), J McBurney (Donaghadee), E McAnoy (Knock), D Scully (Galway)
85 K Thomas (Hinckley, UK), J Mulready (Castle), I Murphy (Waterford), M Buggy (Castlecomer), M Collins (Sutton), R Weldon (Luttrellstown Castle), R McNamara (Headfort), K McCarthy (Kinsale), A McCloy (Ballymena)
86 S Dwyer (Newlands), S Brady (Co. Sligo), A Carroll (Castlewarden)
87 B Anderson (Co. Sligo), G Paterson (Moray, UK)
88 A Wynne (Strandhill), A Wilson (Cairndhu)
89 S Morrison (City of Derry)
NR T Cleary (East Clare).