ANDREW Wilson faces a fight to make the cut on his Open debut after suffering a nightmare back nine at Royal Portrush.

The Darlington pro, attached to Rockliffe, had powered his way up into the upper echelons of the leaderboard after a dream front nine.

He reached the turn on two-under after a flawless opening that included birdies at the seventh and the ninth.

But Wilson, who earned his spot at his first major through final qualifying, had a frustrating ending when he made seven bogeys on his way home to finish on five over 76 going into his Friday morning round.

The 25-year-old, who plays on the EuroPro Tour, knew it would be tough in the second last group on day one with the crowds dispersing late and now he knows he has plenty work to do to make the weekend.

JB Holmes is the overnight leader on five-under with Irishman Shane Lowry a shot behind.