American Daniel Im carded a flawless seven-under-par 65 to lead the way after the first round of the Hero Indian Open in Delhi.
Im began his round birdie-birdie, starting from the 10th, and picked up another shot on 15 to reach the turn in 33.
Successive birdies followed on the first and second holes and the 30-year-old added two more in his final three holes to earn a one-shot lead over Thailand’s Prom Meesawat and Spanish pair Jorge Campillo and Nacho Elvira.
“There were a couple of times where I almost walked away with a bogey but I made the up-and-down,” said Im.
“I was just cool. I’ve heard about this golf course so many times prior to this trip.
“I came in with a bit of respect. I showed some respect and got some respect back.”
Three-time major Padraig Harrington started his campaign with a one underpar 71.
Michael Hoey was a shot further back after a level par round of 72 while Ireland’s Paul Dunne signed for a two-over 74.
“I enjoyed it. It is a great course because it puts you under pressure all the way through. It is a good test of golf,” said Harrington.
“I created problems on the greens. I could see at times I was a bit aggressive on a few tee boxes and got away with that. I might need to be a little bit more conservative for the next few rounds.
“I played better than my score especially early in my round. Finishing with a bogey isn’t a great thing. I would have been happier if I was three or four-under.
“That’s where I felt I should have been. That’s the game. We have another 54 holes to go so it is steady start but nothing too spectacular.”
On the Challenge Tour, Ireland’s Gary Hurley started strongly at the Barclays Kenya Open with a two under par 70 to trail leaders Moritz Lampert and Danie Van Tonder by four shots.
Lurgan’s Gareth Shaw opened his Challenge Tour season with a one under par 71, while Moyola Park’s Chris Selfridge has some ground to make up after signing for a 76.
Gavin Moynihan and Kevin Phelan carded level par rounds of 72. Ruaidhri McGee opened with a four over par 76.