Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts had The Ryder Cup on his mind even more as he produced a birdie burst to share the early lead at The Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.
The 29 year old needs a top two finish at The Gleneagles Hotel in the final counting event in Europe's points race to earn himself a debut.
He bogeyed his third hole of the morning, but then had four birdies in five holes to join Northern Ireland's Michael Hoey out in front on three under par.
"When you want something like that for such a long time - and you've never been in this position before - it's just very difficult," Colsaerts had said on the eve of the tournament.
"I think about it all the time. It's not like 15 minutes during any day where I don't think about it."
Paired with defending champion Thomas Björn - also one of Captain José María Olazábal's assistants for Chicago next month - Europe's biggest hitter was just off the green with his drive to the 320 yard 14th, chipped to two feet and holed a 12 foot putt for another birdie on the next and then made it three in a row at the 543 yard 16th.
Despite it being into the wind, he had the power to go for it in two and although he pulled his second into thick rough he chipped over a bunker to four feet and holed the putt.
Colsaerts then found a bunker at the 17th, but saved par from 20 feet up the tier in the green and after needing only an iron to find the green at the uphill 513 yard last - his eighth of the day - he two-putted to pick up another stroke.
As for England's David Lynn - runner-up at the US PGA Championship, but denied the chance to qualify automatically for The Ryder Cup when Swede Peter Hanson's withdrawal this week reduced the number of Official World Golf Ranking points on offer - he parred his first nine holes.
There is still a possibility, of course, that Lynn could be one of Olazábal's two wild cards on Monday if he wins this week and he was playing with another vice-captain in Paul McGinley.
England's Lloyd Kennedy was the first player to come to the 194 yard 17th and he holed-in-one to go from one over to one under.
Colsaerts led on his own at four under after a six foot putt at the long second for his fifth birdie in seven holes.
Hoey was one behind and so were late replacement Daniel Gaunt – he replaced England’s Simon Khan who had a wrist injury - England's Paul Waring and Dane Thorbjørn Olesen.
Colsaerts three-putted the seventh - his 15th - after missing from three feet and was in a tie for the lead at three under with Olesen and England's Richard Finch.
Hoey appeared to have gone to four under on the seventh, but there had been a correction to an earlier score - he took seven on the long 16th rather than a five - and so he was two under.