Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts made a flying start to the 70° Open d’Italia Lindt at Golf Club Torino.
The big-hitting Ryder Cup star started on the back nine and followed a bogey at his opener with an incredible run of six straight birdies, throwing in a seventh at the 18th after a par at the 17th for good measure.
That saw the 30 year old – who was forced to withdraw from last week’s KLM Open with flu – turn in a six under par 30, one ahead of Australian Marcus Fraser, Argentina’s Ricardo Gonzalez and England’s James Ruth.
Gonzalez has missed three cuts in a row since finishing second at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, but fired four birdies, one bogey and an eagle at the long 12th in his first 14 holes.
Challenge Tour regular Ruth did not record a single top-50 finish in his only full season on The European Tour back in 2010, but he reeled off five birdies over his opening 11 holes, as did two-time European Tour winner Fraser.