Jack McDonald Leads After Day 1 at Matchroom Tour Championship
Jack McDonald has taken the lead after the opening round of the EuroPro Tour Championship, producing a splendid 67 to edge ahead of the pack by a single stroke.
The Scottish golfer notched six birdies at Slaley Hall, going out for 34 but a blemish-free back nine of 33 helped bolster his score.
If McDonald can hold onto his lead, it would be enough to secure one of the five Challenge Tour cards that are up for grabs.
While there is no cut at the season finale, the second and third round groups will be arranged in correlation to score, meaning McDonald will go out with his closest rivals in William Harrold and Curtis Knipes - both four-under-par.
Sharing tied second are Dan Brown and David Hicks, both mirroring the 68 shot by Knipes and Harrold.
Harrold emulated his front nine, with a pair of 34s to secure his position in the final group for the second round.
Knipes, on the other hand, started in excellent fashion, -4 through six but the par-4 9th brought him back down to reality, carding bogey.
However, he responded excellently and made two further birdies on the back nine before carding another bogey on the difficult 18th.
Wicks was quick out of the block and made a tremendous start to the back nine with three quickfire birdies to keep him climbing in the right direction.
Brown finished strongly and his final nine holes contained three birdies and no blemishes.
There are three players who currently sit at three-under - Matthew Nixon, Jamie Rutherford and Joe Dean - where the latter claimed victory at The Vale Golf Club earlier this season.
There are a further eight players who are tied for ninth and sit at two-under, part of this chasing group includes 2020 Q School winner Sam Broadhurst, Castletown Golf Links victor Callum Fyfe and Montrose Golf Links champion Will Enefer.
As an additional bonus, Slaley Hall has announced that the QHotels Collection Charity Challenge will take place throughout the duration of the week with money being donated to charity for every birdie carded on the 15th hole.
Mitchell Waite has secured his Challenge Tour card after a phenomenal season that sees him sat at the summit of the Order of Merit by a whopping £14,000 from his nearest rival.
There are still four cards up for grabs and the eventual winner of this tournament, regardless of OoM standing, should be playing at Challenge Tour level next season.
For more information or the latest leaderboard standings, please follow the PGA EuroPro Tour on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter or you can view the leaderboard here.
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