Jonathan Caldwell and Cormac Sharvin laid the foundations for what promises to be a good week after the pair returned two-under par rounds of 69 on the opening day of the Cyprus Open.
This week marks a significant Tour milestone as Cyprus becomes the 50th country visited by the European Tour in its 48-year history and first impressions seemed to suit Ireland’s competing duo after encouraging starts at Aphrodite Hills.
Out early, Ardglass professional Sharvin had three birdies on his card before a first and only blemish of the day arrived in the shape of a bogey at the closing hole. After breaking a run of four missed cuts last week in Italy, the 28-year old will hope to build some momentum having recorded a season’s best finish in an otherwise inconsistent campaign back in August with a tied ninth result at the English Championship.
Meanwhile, Clandeboye’s Jonathan Caldwell continued to ride the crest of a wave in posting two birdies and an eagle in his opening effort. Just outside the top-40 after a day of hot scoring in Cyprus, the 36-year old will be thinking big after following-up a career best share of seventh in Scotland a fortnight ago with a share of fifth spot in Italy last week.
American Johannes Veerman and Mitch Waite of England are the men to catch at the Aphrodite Hills after carding seven-under par rounds of 64 in the first European Tour event to be held on the Mediterranean island. Waite carded an eagle, seven birdies and two bogeys to sign for a 64, while Veerman joined him on that number after his fifth birdie of the day on the 18th hole, adding to an eagle he carded on the tenth hole.
“I hit it really well today,” said Veerman. “I think I only missed one green. Well actually, I missed one green but I holed out; so I missed one green but I made it. I hit it really well today off the tee. I think I hit almost every single fairway out there, I was really consistent, and when you’re playing well and you keep giving yourself chances for birdie, it feels great.
“It was a little windy in the practice rounds but it wasn’t so windy out there today. In a way, that made it a little bit easier from what we were used to on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and the course, it’s in such an amazing shape, it’s pristine. If you’re hitting your lines and you’re playing from the fairway, you can go low around here.”
In a share of third place on six under par are former Ryder Cup players Jamie Donaldson and Andy Sullivan, Joël Stalter of France and Finland’s Sami Välimäki – both winners on the European Tour this season – and David Drysdale of Scotland, who missed out on a maiden title in March after losing to Jorge Campillo in a play-off at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.
Full scoring HERE