Former St Omer Open winner José-Felipe Lima was part of a four-way tie for the clubhouse lead at the Madeira Islands Open BPI - Portugal.
The Portuguese, returning to The European Tour after a year on the Challenge Tour last season, was joined on six under par by English duo Chris Gane and Ben Evans and Scotland's George Murray during the first round at Porto Santo Golf.
"I didn't play as well as yesterday in the pro-am because I felt a bit more pressure," said Lima after his 66.
"I have been working with my psychologist to help me have bogey-free rounds and I had one today so hopefully it's working.
"I know that to win a European Tour event I need to make fewer bogeys and I'm working on that."
Gane, a four-handicapper when he turned professional, had a round with six birdies, two bogeys and an eagle at the par four 14th.
"The eagle was very lucky to tell you the truth," he said.
"It's a driveable par four that 14th - I suppose you'd call it the signature hole of the course over those cliffs - and my two playing partners had a go at it and I thought ‘I've got to have a go too', especially having walked off the 13th with a bogey.
"I hit it about 30 yards right of where I wanted to hit it and it ended up three yards from the pin and I tapped it in for a two. The rest of it was solid."
Evans, the world number 836, saw his round boosted by five birdies on the back nine.
"It's going to be a tough few days so we'll see how it goes. It's only the first round. If I'm in the same position on Saturday it'll be a bit different," he said.
Murray had seven birdies and a bogey and Lima an eagle and four birdies.
Two more English players, James Morrison and Oliver Fisher, were a shot back, level with Scottish pair Andrew McArthur and Jamie McLeary and France's Julien Quesne.
Morrison had looked like making it a five-way tie for first after a run of eagle-birdie-birdie on the 14th, 15th and 16th, but a bogey at the 18th dropped him back.
Fisher had five straight birdies from the fifth to the ninth, but picked up just one more and a bogey on the back nine as his round lost momentum.
Another group of four players were on four under, consisting of England's Phillip Archer, Ireland's Simon Thornton, Italian Alessandro Tadini and Swede Fredrik Andersson Hed.
Archer had a mixed round with eight birdies and four bogeys, while Andersson Hed's featured seven birdies but was undermined by a triple-bogey eight at the tenth.