England is in pole position after the opening day of the European Men’s Challenge Trophy in fine conditions at the Keilir club in Iceland.
Thanks to 68s from Jack Hiluta, Garrick Porteous and Ben Stow, England finished day one on 352, three strokes ahead of the Netherlands and nine clear of Portugal and Iceland in joint third place.
The event is a qualifier for next year’s European Men’s Team Championships in Denmark, a title England won as recently as 2010. But a 15th place last year means they must finish in the top three this week to qualify for the main event in 2013.
Having recovered from a back injury, Hiluta had four birdies in his three under par return while Porteous and Stow signed for six birdies apiece.
Callum Shinkwin finished on two-over-par 73 while Craig Hinton returned 75 and Ben Taylor a non-scoring 76.
(Image of Garrick Porteous © Tom Ward)