Northern Ireland's Jonathan Caldwell and Cormac Sharvin both shot rounds of 69 as the Cyprus Open got under way at Aphrodite Hills, with England's Mitch Waite and American Johannes Veerman setting the early pace after carding seven-under-par 64s. 

Sharvin registered three birdies and a closing bogey in a steady round at the inaugural edition of the €1m event, while Caldwell made a magnificent eagle at the par-five 10th, to add to two birdies and two bogeys. 

Joint-leader Waite turned professional in November 2018 and is making just his fourth start on the European Tour, but the 25-year-old held his nerve when a hot start drew the attention of the TV cameras as he carded an eagle and seven birdies in his 64.

"It's probably been a slow professional career so far, expectation was high for myself and I put myself under pressure more than anybody else," the world number 974 said.

"Last year was a tough year and I started quite nicely at the beginning of this year on the Challenge Tour before Covid hit and that slowed me down, but I’m just fortunate to be here on an invite.

"It’s easy to say no expectations, but you’ve got to still go out there and do it.

"You tell yourself don’t play with any pressure but, at the end of the day, when the cameras come on and you’ve not been in that position before there is a bit of pressure there and I was really pleased with how I finished up in those last three holes.

"It’s early days but I’ve got an early tee time tomorrow and there are so many good players out there now that the scoring’s going to be low, so you’ve got to go out and do the same again."

Former Ryder Cup winner Jamie Donaldson, England’s Andy Sullivan, Scotland's David Drysdale, Finland’s Sami Valimaki and France’s Joel Stalter share third place on six under on a day which saw 78 completed rounds under par.

Six players in the 105-strong field were unable to finish due to fading light.