Midway through the opening round of the first European Tour event on European soil this season Lawrie led by a stroke from Welshman Bradley Dredge, Dutchman Joost Luiten, New Zealander Mark Brown and France's former British amateur champion Julien Guerrier.
Lawrie's last tournament was the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at the start of last month and after missing the cut there he decided to make a switch of coaches from Bob Torrance back to Adam Hunter.
Ex-European Tour winner Hunter has recently been diagnosed with leukaemia and Lawrie said: "This will help him a bit.
"He's doing all right. It's been a terrible time, but he's out of hospital now, so fingers crossed he's on the road to recovery.
"Bob was great when I rang him. I learnt a lot - you do from every coach - but I didn't think I was getting enough out of it for the time it took to see him."
The 41 year old from Aberdeen had seven birdies and was particularly pleased that two of them, at the 17th and first, both came straight after bogeys.
"My attitude was brilliant," he commented. "I've been playing a lot of golf at home and then for two weeks in Spain, so I didn't feel rusty at all."
Four days after Rhys Davies won in Morocco Dredge kept the Welsh flag flying high.
The 36 year old believes Davies, 12 years his junior, could become a contender for the first-ever Ryder Cup in Wales this October, but he has not yet given up hope of being at The Celtic Manor Resort himself.
"For us Welsh guys this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Dredge, who finished second in the first qualifying event in Switzerland last September, but has since dropped to 21st on the points list.
"I've got to win some tournaments basically. Unfortunately I've not played well enough to get in the majors or world championships, but I know what I have to do."
Dredge had six birdies, but also spun a wedge into the water on the 305 yard third, his 12th, and finished with another bogey.
Luiten has been plagued by a wrist injury since the start of his rookie season on The European Tour in 2008, but after a specialist hockey doctor resolved the issue he now appears to be back to his best and has only missed one cut so far this season.
The highlight of his round was back-to-back birdies at the seventh and eighth as he negotiated the course without dropping a shot.
Brown was also bogey-free, while Guerrier was one over at the turn only to then birdie five of his next six holes.
David Howell, who has dipped from ninth in the Official World Golf Rankings to a current position of 408th, had an eventful 69.
Four birdies in his first seven holes, including a chip-in at the short 11th, put the ex-Ryder Cup star top of the leaderboard, but then came a double bogey at the 449 yard 18th.
His drive was pulled left into the trees and could not found in the permitted five minutes. That meant a long walk back to the tee and just as he was hitting again his coach Clive Tucker found the original in the semi-rough on the other side of the fairway - but too late.
"I'm blaming my dad," he said after his round. "I gave him a pair of binoculars last night, but he never saw it."
Tournament host Miguel Angel Jiménez, one of the favourites for the €166,660 first prize, managed only a five over 75.