WILTSHIRE golfer Laurie Canter enjoyed a stunning start at the Rocco Forte Open with a superb six-under first round of 65.

Cumberwell Park player Canter, in his seventh European Tour event of the season, did not drop a single shot in Sicily and is in a tie for 12th place, four shots off the early lead.

Canter got off to a stunning start at Verdura Golf Club by opening up with back-to-back birdies but he could not improve on that before the turn, going out in 34.

He had made par at nine successive holes before another birdie came his way but when it did, it began as blitz as Canter picked up shots at 12, 13 and 14.

There was still time for further improvement on Canter’s card as a sixth birdie of the day was collected at the 17th hole to cap an excellent day’s work for the Wiltshire player.

Meanwhile, Derry Hill’s Jordan Smith lies level with Swindon’s David Howell on three under after an opening round that saw him card five birdies.

The Bowood pro, who has enjoyed a fine start to his rookie year on the European Tour, did not get the momentum he was looking for early on as he dropped his first shot on the par-four third.

However, he settled down with three consecutive pars before clinching his first birdie of the day on the par-three seventh.

That was followed up by another birdie on the par-five ninth to see the 24-year-old go out in a score of 35.

Smith had found his stride by the turn and picked up another birdie on the par-four 10th before making further strides up the leader board at the 12th with his fourth score under par of the round.

The reigning European Challenge Order of Merit champion continued his climb as he moved to four under on the 16th but was forced to settle for a round of 68 after dropping a shot on the par-four 17th.