Roope Kakko birdied four of his first eight holes at County Louth to set the early first round pace at The 3 Irish Open.
The World Number 405 from Finland reached four under par to lead by a shot from English duo Nick Dougherty and Sam Little and Scotland’s trio of Paul Lawrie, Marc Warren and David Drysdale as well as Switzerland’s Julien Clement.
All six were three under par in the early stages of the tournament.
It said a lot about the relative difficulty of the two halves of the course that all the frontrunners at this stage began on the first tee, but Darren Clarke was among those starting on the inward half and after seven pars in a row - no mean feat - he bogeyed the 17th.
Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and John Daly were all afternoon starters waiting to see how the weather developed. While it was windy from the start with rainclouds all around there was definitely scope for things to get much nastier.