Three players, two from Kent, shared top spot on two-under-par 69 at the conclusion of a rain-plagued Brabazon Trophy Southern Qualifier at Enmore Park in Somerset.
Bobby Twiner and Billy Britton from Kent were joined by Hampshire-based Edward Holland as the leaders of the 30 qualifiers.
Holland, from the Hartley Whitney club, might have led on his own after covering the front nine in 30 strokes with five birdies. But he ran up five bogeys on the homeward stretch, countered by two more birdies.
Britton, a member of Pedham Place in Kent, also showed good form on the outward half, turning in 32 with three birdies. But again the back nine proved a problem with dropped shots at the 12th and 14th although he managed a birdie at 16 in a homeward 37.
The London Club’s Twiner looked to be heading for a level-par 71 but birdies at the 16th and 18th saw him join the Kentish pair in top spot.
The trio were the only players to better par on a day of continual rain, which kept the greens staff busy, finishing two strokes ahead of the rest of the field.
The leading 30 players on 73 or better qualified for the Brabazon Trophy at Formby next month with Jeremy Larcombe (Burnham & Berrow) named as a reserve.
Among others to qualify were former England international John Kemp on 71, boy cap Bobby Keeble on 72, and Jimmy Mullen, beaten in a playoff for the Bernard Darwin Salver earlier this year, with 73.
The Northern Qualifier will take place at Pleasington Golf Club in Blackburn next Tuesday when another 30 players will qualify.