Paul Maddy leads the race for a Challenge Tour card with a one-stroke lead over five golfers at the end of the opening day of the 888poker.com PGA EuroPro Tour Championship at Woburn Golf Club.
Maddy is third on the Tour Order of Merit and a win on the Marquessâ€™ Course would see him top the final list and with it gain his 2013 Challenge Tour card. He signed for a first-round 69 on the par-72 course.
Will Roebuck, James Maw, Paul Doherty, Andrew Willey and Ryan Brown are just one stroke behind Maddy on two under par. All five would stand a chance of gaining a Challenge Tour card should they pick up the Â£15,000 winnerâ€™s cheque this week.
Englishman Maddy began his round in style with back-to-back birdies at one at two but suffered a setback when he made five on the par-four fifth. An eagle at the seventh took him to three under but he was quickly pegged back with a bogey at the eighth.
On the back nine Maddy, who won The Veka and Network Veka Open at Wychwood Park in August, made bogey at 17 but birdies at 13 and 18 saw him end the day top of the leaderboard.
Each season five 888poker.com PGA EuroPro Tour players earn Challenge Tour categories by finishing in the top five on the Tourâ€™s Order of Merit. Stuart Manley and Duncan Stewart have already secured their promotions, leaving three cards to play for.
Behind Maddy in fourth and fifth respectively are Paul Reed and Wallace Booth.
A double bogey at the last denied Booth a share of the overnight lead and he will go into day two one stroke under par. Reed had a disappointing day, signing for a 76 after hitting four bogeys in his opening round.
Elliot Saltman, sixth on the Order of Merit, is two strokes off the lead on one under par and seventh-placed Martin LeMesurier finished his opening round level par.
Round two of the 54-hole event commences at 8:30am on Wednesday morning, with live scoring available at www.europrotour.com.