Canter, a former amateur star, carded a seven under par first round 65 to take a one stroke lead over Sean Einhaus of Germany, while Canter’s friend and former Walker Cup player Jack Senior was two shots further back in tied fourth place on four under par.
Liam Bond, who led at the midway stage of the ISPS Handa Wales Open at The Celtic Manor Resort last week, was in tied 17th place after an opening round 71 while promising South African Brandon Stone, who claimed a top ten finish in his professional debut at the BMW International Open in June, carded a level par 72.
De Jager and Homan, meanwhile, both signed for six under par rounds of 65 to lead at the northern French venue of Golf d’Hardelot.
One shot off the lead were Frenchman François Delamontagne, who has 207 European Tour appearances under his belt, and Scotsman Paul Doherty, brother of Challenge Tour regular Jack.
With 102 players taking part at each venue of the Section D qualifiers this week, competition is fierce to finish in the top 24 and ties and thereby qualify for Second Stage.