John Wade shares the lead with Thorbjorn Olesen on eight under after the opening day of the ISPS HANDA Perth International.

The 46-year-old Australian made a blistering start at Lake Karrinyup, carding four birdies on his first five holes on the back nine, before adding an eagle on the 15th.

He picked up two further shots after turning in 30 to set the pace before being pegged back by Denmark's Olesen, who notched eight birdies to join him in finishing on 64, with the rest of the field at least two shots behind.

Peter Lawrie needs a win to retain his tour card but shot a three-over-par opening round.

Gareth Maybin, most likely in need of a top-ten finish, is at one under, while Kevin Phelan, who needs to aim for a top-three placing shot a level-par 72.

Damien McGrane, who has safely retained his card, is the best-placed Irish player at two under. 

"I just was proud that I didn't let it go after I was six under, which is really annoying for most guys"

Wade, who has only won one title on the Challenge Tour eight years ago, told the European Tour website: "This is ridiculous really. I didn't know what to expect.

"I just was proud that I didn't let it go after I was six under, which is really annoying for most guys. And someone in my situation, you're probably half expecting that to happen. Friday is another day. This is all new to me; I'll just have to go out with the same attitude."

Olesen, 24, was also thrilled to be one of the early front runners for the €198,300 winner's cheque and he said: "I played really, really well, the front nine especially. The back nine I hit a couple bad drives, but got a little bit lucky and got away with them.

"My short game was amazing out there. My chipping, bunker shots were really, really good, so I'm very pleased with the round."

Australian Michael Sim shares third on six under with a trio of players all fighting to keep their Tour card for 2015.

With those outside the top 111 in the Race to Dubai dropping down to the European Tour Qualifying School, Scot Peter Whiteford (149) and Sihwan Kim (138) are currently in danger of missing out but they made strong starts in Perth.

Both men eagled the par-five seventh as they had eerily similar rounds, adding five birdies and a bogey apiece to card 66, which also leaves them level with Tom Lewis - who is yet to cement his own place for next year.

The 23-year-old Englishman is currently ranked 104th and he should be safe barring an unlikely set of results, while Whiteford and Kim both need top-two finishes to avoid dropping out.

Mark Foster and David Drysdale feature in a group of seven locked on five under, while Australian Anthony Brown sits a shot further back despite having the highlight of the day with a hole-in-one on the par-three 12th.