Michael Hoey and Gareth Maybin three shots behind at Gleneagles

Michael Hoey watches his ball during the final round

Michael Hoey and Gareth Maybin are just three shots behind the joint leaders after the first day of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.

Belfast man Hoey, who won the Russian Open at the end of July, carded five birdies and one bogey as he posted a 68 early in Thursday's play.

Ballyclare's Maybin matched that with a round of four birdies and no dropped shots while Gareth Shaw posted a 74.

Ricardo Gonzalez of Argentina and Bernd Wiesberger from Austria had 65s.

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Michael Hoey is well in contention at Gleneagles

Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley and fellow Irish man Shane Lowey lie alongside Hoey and Maybin on the four-under-par mark.

For Hoey and Shaw the tournament represents their final appearance ahead of the Northern Ireland Open Challenge Tour event at Galgorm Castle next week.

Ireland's Damien McGrane is on two under and Peter Lawrie one under, while David Higgins had a level-par round and Simon Thornton returned a two-over-par 74.

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