She is two shots ahead of county colleague Barbara Laird while senior international Pat Wrightson, from Yorkshire, and Rozalyn Adams from Surrey scored two over par.
Defending champion Geraldine Bray, from Kent, is one stroke further back and shares fifth place with Ruth Lindley from Durham and Carolyn Kirk from Yorkshire.
Sue Dye, who plays at Delamere Forest, had five birdies in her round including three on short holes. She remarked: “It was a good score and I know where I’m going and what I have to do tomorrow.
“The course is playing super. The ball goes where you hit it, without any funny bounces, but you have to know the lines off the tee and trust them. When I didn’t, on the 12th and 17th, I dropped shots.”
She’s playing her second season of seniors golf and was runner-up in this event last year, top qualifier in the English seniors’ championship in April and has just won the Northern vets championship.
“When I got to 50 I decided to go for it,” said Sue, who played county golf for Cheshire for 20 years.
Barbara Laird, from Sandiway, recovered from a double bogey seven on the 13th with a superb finish to her round. She played the last four holes in three under par, thanks to an eagle three on the 447-yard 15th, where she holed a putt across the green, and a birdie four on the 16th. She signed off with two solid pars.
Barbara, 50, was Durham champion before moving to Cheshire where she also played county golf. However she’s been out of major competition for the past decade and is making a comeback at seniors’ level. “What’s nice about this is that it gives people another chance. When I was playing my best golf I couldn’t compete against the top players because I was working full time.”
Defending champion Geraldine Bray (Littlestone) played steady golf to share fifth place but was disappointed with a three-putt on the last. By contrast Christine Watson (Beaconsfield) the 2006 seniors champion, holed a monster across the 18th green for a birdie three. She finished on four-over par and is in eighth place.
The championship’s Division B is led by Pat Bennett of Reading who scored five over par 80 and is three shots clear of the field. Northumberland’s Moyra Howie (Alnmouth) shares second place with Eppie Zandvoort from Eaton in Norwich.
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A Gutsy performance from both sides