Connor Syme bogeyed his final hole in tough conditions to claim a share of the lead with Julien Guerrier and Dale Whitnell after the first round of the Cazoo Open.
Celtic Manor, the venue for the Ryder Cup in 2010, played extremely difficult - and no one was able to break free of the pack.
Syme carded an excellent round of 67 to top the leaderboard alongside Guerrier and Whitnell.
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Guerrier remains in good form and will be looking to shake off the late meltdown that cost him victory at the Cazoo Classic towards the end of July.
Whitnell went bogey-free for his round and will look to build on it as he seeks a first win on the DP World Tour.
Eddie Pepperell was the best player on the course for much of the day. With confidence building after his second-placed finish last week following a lengthy spell in the doldrums, he played spectacular golf in difficult conditions.
He was aided by a hot putter and got to five-under after 13 holes.
But things went awry following a wayward tee shot on 14. He had the option of wedging forward or going for the green. He opted for the latter and paid the price as he found the water and ended up with a double bogey.
The 15th was the easiest hole on the course, but Pepperell made a bogey after sending his tee shot through the back of the green and taking two chips to find the putting surface.
He steadied the ship with pars on 16 and 17 before a birdie on 18 took him to three-under, the same score as his playing partner Marcus Armitage.
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First Round Leaderboard
- T1. Julien Guerrier, four-under
- T1. Connor Syme, four-under
- T1. Dale Whitnell, four-under
- T4. Maximilian Kiefer, three-under
- T4. Ewen Ferguson, three-under
- T4. Eddie Pepperell, three-under
- T4. Marcus Armitage, three-under
- T4. Mikko Korhonen, three-under
- T4. Ivan Cantero Gutierrez, three-under
Last week’s winner Sean Crocker made a blistering start with birdies on his opening two holes, but he could not keep the run going and signed for a 74.
It was a memorable day for David Howell, who was handed an award for making his 700th appearance on the DP World Tour.
The five-time winner, who is behind only Miguel Angel Jimenez and Sam Torrance on the appearance list, carded a round of 73.
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Guerrier leads from Shinkwin at Celtic Manor, Pepperell slips back, Howell makes cut
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