Gareth Maybin has qualified for the US Open later this month
Gareth Maybin and Darren Clarke are four shots off the pace at the Wales Open after firing opening rounds of 69.
The Ballyclare man produced a steady round of three birdies and a solitary bogey at this year's Ryder Cup venue Celtic Manon.
Clarke was two under after six but dropped back to one over after 15 before producing three birdies in his final four holes.
Graeme McDowell shot a one-over 72 while Simon Thornton hit a 68.
The County Down-based Thornton is only three shots behind leader Chris Wood.
Damien McGrane joined Maybin on 69, Shane Lowry fired a 70 while Paul McGinley was one over after a 72.
Peter Lawrie joined McGinley on 72 with Gary Murphy on 73.
McDowell went out in one-over-par 36 after a front nine which included two dropped shots.
A birdie at the 11th moved the Rathmore man back to level par but he double-bogeyed the par-three 13th after barely moving his ball from a hazard and failing to get up and down.
He then birdied the 15th but despite a fine approach at the 18th, his birdie putt failed to drop.
Englishman Wood was leading after a 65 which left him one ahead of home player Bradley Dredge and Australian Andrew Dodt.