Cyprus Open: Andy Sullivan one back as Mitch Waite shares lead

Andy Sullivan birdied his final two holes to get within a shot of the lead after the opening round of the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Open.

The four-time European Tour winner – the highest-ranked player in the field – posted a six-under 65 on a low-scoring day at the Aphrodite Hills Resort to sit in a share of third, as compatriot Mitch Waite and America’s Johannes Veerman topped the leaderboard.

Waite, a sponsor’s invite, mixed an eagle and seven birdies with two bogeys to set the clubhouse target in just his fourth European Tour start, only for Veerman to carded a blemish-free 64 and join him on seven under.

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Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Open

“I’ve just had a good attitude from the beginning of the week,” Waite said. “I’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain so I just need to get out there – it’s a scoreable track – hit some good shots and see what we get out of it.”

Sullivan followed successive gains from the fourth with back-to-back birdies from the ninth and added another at the 13th to get within two of the lead, before bouncing back from failing to get up and down from off the 15th green to close his round out with two birdies.

The world No 69 is joined in tied-third by Scotland’s David Drysdale, former Ryder Cup star Jamie Donaldson, Oman Open champion Sami Valimaki and France’s Joel Stalter, with English quartet Richard McEvoy, Marcus Armitage, Will Enefer and David Horsey in the group on five under.

Oman Open champion Sami Valimaki and France’s Joel Stalter, with English quartet Richard McEvoy, Marcus Armitage, Will Enefer and David Horsey in the group on five under.

“I holed a nice putt on the seventh from 25 feet on the par three, which gives me the heebie-jeebies,” Drysdale said. “I sort of get a little bit of vertigo on the third tee and the seventh tee.

“It’s weird. I call it ETS – elevated tee syndrome – where you feel like you can’t follow through. You almost stay so far back on it, it’s so high up. It’s a strange feeling on a couple of the tee shots round there. But yeah, some good putting.”

Oliver Farr and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano were also two off the pace with one hole to play when play was suspended due to fading light, with the final two groups having to return early on Friday morning to play the par-five last.

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Last week’s Italian Open runner-up Laurie Canter is three off the pace after an opening-round 67, while Sam Horsfield – a two-time winner on the European Tour this season – is tied-89th in the 105-man field after struggling to a one-over 72.

Watch the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Open throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Friday from 9.30am on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event.

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