England's Dale Whitnell and Connor Syme of Scotland ended the opening round four-under to join Frenchman Julien Guerrier at Celtic Manor in the event sponsored by former Real Madrid footballer Gareth Bale.

Whitnell overcame challenging conditions to card a blemish-free 67, while Syme briefly got to five-under before dropping a shot on his final hole of the day.

Marcus Armitage, Eddie Pepperell and Ewen Ferguson were a shot behind at three-under, level with Mikko Korhonen, Ivan Cantero Gutierrez and Maximilian Kieffer.

"It's tough out there, the wind is swirling about which is making it extremely tough, but I had a game plan and managed to execute it today," Whitnell said on the DP World Tour website.

"There are obviously tough holes out there, so I just tried to be disciplined. We made some great decisions and I managed to execute the shots that I needed to.

"I just need to keep doing what I'm doing tomorrow, keep grounded and try and clip off a few birdies here and there."

Syme said he was pleased overall with his start.

"I kept my ball out of the trouble well and it's a good start. You've got to drive it well and the greens are pretty undulating in parts as well, so you need to be cautious about where you're leaving it.

"It challenges every part of your game, all round you need to play really good golf to score, it's just a challenging golf course."

Dimi Papadatos is the best of the Australian contingent after his one-under 70.

He is one shot ahead of compatriots Maverick Antcliff and Zach Murray, who are all in contention.