Ruaidhri McGee and Greg Payne both shot 65 on the opening day of the Clipper Logistics Championship at Moor Allerton Golf Club to lead the 888poker.com PGA EuroPro Tour event by one on six under par.
Welshman Tim Dykes and Bristol & Clifton Golf Clubâ€™s Paul Reed share second on five under after shooting 66 on the par-71 course on Wednesday. Seven golfers are two off the leaders on four under par.
The event is the final tournament prior to the Tour Championship at Princeâ€™s next month, and only the top 60 on the Order of Merit at the end of this weeksâ€™ competition will be invited to play in the season finale.
Last year just two pence separated 60th and 61st position, making every shot vital in the race to secure a spot at Princeâ€™s.
The Clipper Logistics Championship is the Tourâ€™s first event in Yorkshire this season, and five 888poker.com PGA EuroPro Tour winners are either from or attached to a club in the county.
Marcus Armitage (-2, Howley Hall GC), James Hepworth (-1, Ilkley Golf Club), Alex Belt (-1, De Vere), Dave Coupland (level, Sharp Sports Golf Management) and Daniel Gavins (level, De Vere Oulton Hall) are all in contention to secure their 2014 Challenge Tour card by virtue of finishing in the top five on the EuroPro Order of Merit.
Nick McCarthy (-1, Moortown Golf Club) is currently 11th on the money list as the tourâ€™s highest-ranked player yet to win an event this season.
Joint leader McGee (Rosapenna) signed for an unblemished 65 with four birdies on his front nine having started the tournament on the tenth tee.
Greg Payne (Chobham Golf Club) lies 19th on the Order of Merit and a win this week would move him into the all-important top five. He shot eight birdies on his way to six under, bogeying the fourth and 11th â€“ both par threes.
Order of Merit leader George Woolgar (Capitalservices) is one of seven golfers tied fifth on four under, two behind Payne and McGee. The Chesterfield golfer is already assured of a top-five finish and is the only player to have won two 888poker.com PGA EuroPro Tour events this season.
The Clipper Logistics Championship is a 54-hole strokeplay event. A cut will be made after 36 holes, with the leading 50 players plus ties proceeding to play the final round on Friday, September 27.
Spectator entry to the event is free throughout the week and a two-hour highlights show will be broadcast at 8pm on Sky Sports 3 on Tuesday, October 8, repeated four times on Wednesday, October 9.