The England Boys player from Woodcote Park, Surrey, managed 82, one better than the American Ryder Cup player. But Scotland - in the last threesome to tee off - achieved what few others managed on a difficult day - back to back birdies, at the 13th and 14th. "That was great relief to me as I had a bit of a rocky start," he said. "I am looking forward to tomorrow when hopefully I can improve."
The former European amateur champion Paddy Gribben, from Warrenpoint in Northern Ireland, is up with the leaders after an impressive round of 75. "I would have paid money beforehand for a score like that," he said. "I feel very proud."
Beaconsfield's Luke Donald, who is studying at Northwestern University, in Chicago, shot an 80, while Graeme Storm, the British amateur champion from Hartlepool, had to settle for an 82.
Justin Rose, who finished fourth at Royal Birkdale last year as an amateur, shot an eight-over-par 79.
Rose, who has struggled since turning pro, missing 21 cuts in a row on the European Tour before securing a place in the European Grand Prix, went to the turn in 42. He improved on the back nine, until finishing with a double-bogey six.