Michael Hoey is the best placed of the Irish after the first round of the Kenyan Open near Nairobi. The Antrim man finished on five under par, in a tie for fourth place, after a round of 66.
Cormac Sharvin went around in 69 to finish in two under par. Gavin Moynihan finished one over, with Robin Dawson further back on 12 over par.
A spectacular finish gave England's Jack Singh Brar a share of the lead with South Africa's Louis de Jager.
Singh Brar fired an eagle and three birdies in his last four holes at Karen Country Club to post a seven-under-par 64. Only de Jager could match thanks to a round featuring seven birdies and an eagle.
India's Gaganjeet Bhullar is a shot off the pace on six under after a bogey-free round, with Hoey and Spain's Adri Arnaus another stroke back.
Singh Brar turned professional in 2017 after taking three points from four matches in a losing Walker Cup effort and graduated from the European Challenge Tour last season with the help of a win at the Cordon Golf Open.
"Through the round I got up and down when I needed to and then I was five under through my last four, a great way to finish the round," the 22-year-old said. "I have to just keep pushing now because you can't defend on this Tour."