JAMES HEATH and Matthew Evans are the early leaders on the opening day of the latest PGA EuroPro Tour competition â€“ staged at The Players Club in Bristol.
The tournament, in association with World Snooker, is the eighth of the PGA EuroPro Tour season and concludes on Friday with Â£10,000 going to the winner.
Heath and Evans were the early clubhouse leaders as the pair both went round in a three-under-par 67.
Heath has already enjoyed success at The Players Club this year as his victory there in April in the first stage of qualifying helped get him his PGA EuroPro Tour card.
After making the cut at the last four events, Heath is well-placed to improve on his best finish of the campaign â€“ tied ninth at Bovey Castle last month.
Four birdies on the front nine gave Evans (Rotherham GC) a fine start, although he bogeyed the 15th in his quest for his first top 15 finish of the year.
Ian Keenan and Dale Marmion are among the players who are struggling and need to perform well on Thursday if they are to make the cut.
Keenan (Royal Liverpool) is currently in fourth position in the Order of Merit but might not win any money from this event after bogeys at the seventh, 13th, 14th and 18th left him on four-over.
Marmion (Eaton GC), who finished tied second in the opening tournament of the season at Wensum Valley in Norfolk, is also on four-over and well down the field.
Stuart McCance (The London Club) and Myles Pearson are both in line to make the cut for only the second time this season.
The pair claimed a Wednesday score of two-under and it was an eventful day for Pearson as he claimed four bogeys but also six birdies.
Competition was fierce as 165 players began the first round in a high-quality field that included a number of players who had European Tour experience.
Craig Lee finished tied 26th last week at the Barclays Scottish Open in Loch Lomond on the European Tour.
However, he did not perform as well in Bristol as he made five bogeys in the opening nine holes he played.
Graeme Clark, the 2007 Order of Merit Champion, also made a poor start after beginning from hole ten as four bogeys in the front nine was followed by a triple bogey seven at the par-four first.
Lloyd Saltman has had two top 20 finishes on the Challenge Tour in the last month and successive birdies at the 13th and 14th brought him in contention here.
Matchroom Sport will edit the highlights from this event into a two-hour programme and this will be screened on Sky Sports 3 on Wednesday, July 28.