Ardglass rookie Cormac Sharvin showed his true potential after a stuttering start to his professional career by firing an opening four under 68 for a share of fifth place in the ISPS HANDA Perth International.
As American Peter Uihlein put his recent injury troubles behind him to take a one-shot lead with a seven under 65, Sharvin put a brace of missed cuts in PGA Australasian Tour events behind him by making seven birdies in an impressive opening round at Lake Karrinyup Country Club.
“It was a great round of golf in my first European Tour event,” Sharvin said. “It was really nice to post a nice number and see my name on the leaderboard with names I am usually watching on TV.
“I played a couple of events out here earlier this month and they were my first events since Walker Cup so I wasn’t there competitively and I was making silly mistakes and thought that if I get a bit of experience, my game will come and I will get more competitive.
“I got here last Thursday and I’ve been fresh, staying with one of my friends, Paul Dunne.”
Sharvin, who has signed with management company IMG, admitted that seeing what Dunne has done early in his career has been good for his own confidence.
“When you see someone at your level as an amateur doing what they have done at The Open and at the start of their European Tour career, it definitely gives me confidence,” he said.
“I have got roughly nine Challenge Tour starts and hopefully a few on the main tour, fingers crossed.
“I don’t have big expectations but I know if I play well, I can compete.”
Paul Dunne had two birdies and three bogeys in a one over 73 while Michael Hoey failed to make a birdie in a five over 77.
But there was no stopping Sharvin, who was left to regret a double bogey seven at the 15th.
Leader Uihlein, meanwhile, missed consecutive cuts on the Desert Swing before withdrawing from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic with a wrist problem.
But the 26-year old returned to action in Malaysia last week and secured a top ten finish before firing a seven under par 65 to take a one-shot advantage over Romain Wattel and Shiv Kapur.