German Marcel Siem, a World Cup winner alongside Bernhard Langer three years ago, made a good start to his bid for a second European Tour title in more than 180 starts.
The 28 year old, 411th in the world, stood two under par after six holes and shared the early lead with South African Ulrich Van Den Berg in the Madeira Islands Open - BPI Portugal, which this year switched to the neighbouring island of Porto Santo.
Siem birdied the tenth and 14th, while Van Den Berg, five times a winner in his home country, picked up strokes on the 12th and 15th after also setting off on the back nine of the five year old Seve Ballesteros designed course.
They were joined by Jesus Maria Arruti when the Spaniard added a birdie at the sixth to the shot he gained at the second and England’s Paul Waring, who was also two under after six holes.
Amongst the group only one behind is former The Ryder Cup star Costantino Rocca, now 52 and taking a break from the European Senior Tour to try his luck against the younger generation again.