Simon Dyson has his sights on a third KLM Open title in six years after a 65 at Hilversum which left him tied with Marcel Siem at the top of the leaderboard.
The opening was delayed first by vandals and then by a flooded course, with four greens damaged by overnight intruders and, following a 45-minute hold-up to complete repairs, a further three and a half hours lost because of the weather.
"That's probably the wettest course I've ever played," said Dyson after setting the pace on five under par along with German Siem.
His two previous victories in the event came at Kennemer in 2006 and 2009, both in play-offs, and with an Irish Open title in the bag this season the Englishman is hoping to make this a year to remember.
He is currently tenth on The Race to Dubai and added: "My best finish is eighth and I would love to beat that."
Siem, without a top-ten finish on The European Tour for over a year, still has work to do to keep his card at 104th.
He, like Dyson, eagled the long 12th as they moved one ahead of Robert Dinwiddie, who reached six under before running up two late bogeys in the worst of the conditions.
Defending champion Martin Kaymer, runner-up to Thomas Björn in Switzerland on Sunday, looked completely out of sorts as he started with a four over 74.
The delays meant that Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy did not even start until after 5.30pm and had no hope of completing their opening rounds before nightfall.
“My putter was really, really going well the first 15 holes, and 16, 17, 18, didn't feel that good anymore,” said Siem – who had three holes remaining when the course flooded.
“I’m really happy that I made another birdie after the break.”
Westwood bogeyed the fifth and sixth after missing the green both times, but birdied the next two to return to level par before play was called off for the day.
McIlroy also had a sticky start, three-putting the third and remaining one over after eight.
Earlier, Thomas Levet made a successful return from breaking his leg jumping in a lake to celebrate his Alstom Open de France victory two months ago.
A chip-in birdie on the 18th helped Levet to a one under 69, while Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts shot 70 in his first event since injuring his elbow coming off a scooter just before The Open Championship.