Gary King shot a six-under-par 64 to lead by one stroke after the first round of the HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour event at Royal Burgess Golfing Society of Edinburgh on Wednesday.
James Ross, the 2013 Scottish Amateur of the Year who is attached to Royal Burgess, is one of three golfers who trail leader King by one having carded 65s on the opening day. England’s Jack Colegate (Deanridge Golf Club) and James Watts (Kingsway Golf Centre) share second with the 24-year-old amateur.
King (Tyrrells Wood) made seven birdies in his opening round, a bogey at the fourth being the only mark on his card as he moved to the top of the leaderboard in the event, which carries a £40,000 prize fund with £10,000 going to the winner.
Ross, who is playing in his first pro event but maintaining his amateur status and therefore cannot earn any prize money, made eight birdies in his opening-round 65 and was pleased with his efforts during his first experience of professional tournament golf.
“You can never base anything off one event but it is nice to get a feel for what a professional tournament feels like,” he said.
“This is my first pro event, I have played Open qualifying but that is open to pros and amateurs. I am very comfortably here because I am a member and have been since I was a boy, so it is nice to have some local support.
“I had eight birdies today, taking advantage of the par fives and I hit a few wedges quite close. I made three bogeys but the one at 17 was the only one where I thought, fair enough. The hole was playing really hard today and I just leaked it right into the trees, so I was always struggling to make par from there.
“I will probably turn pro at the end of the summer. I will play out the amateur summer, see where that gets me, and turn at the end of the year. I am moving out to Houston in the States, which is where I went to college, so I will go down the American route when I turn pro.”
The 54-hole event concludes on Friday, when the final round will be filmed for a two-hour highlights package to be aired on Sky Sports on Tuesday, July 29. Spectator entry is free throughout the event and live scoring can be found at www.europrotour.com.