Nathan Holman was among the early leaders as the inaugural Maybank Championship Malaysia got under way at Royal Selangor Golf Club.
The European Tour International Schedule is in Malaysia for the 18th consecutive season, with the Kuala Lumpur layout hosting a tournament for the second time after the 2002 Malaysian Open.
And Holman, along with Thailand's Prom Meesawat and Angelo Que of the Philippines, set the early pace at six under as the early starters reached the closing stages of their opening rounds.
Holman is already a winner this season after claiming another new event on the schedule, the Australian PGA Championship, in his homeland before Christmas.
He started on the tenth on Thursday and made a birdie on his opener before a hat-trick of gains from the 13th saw him turn in 32. He also picked up shots on the third and fifth to sit six under with three holes remaining.
Meesawat, playing in the group ahead of Holman, also turned in 32 with birdies on the tenth, 11th, 15th and 16th, and made further gains on the third and fifth.
Que had started his round on the first and had gains on the fifth, seventh, eighth, 11th, 13th and 14th.
South Korea's K.T. Kim was then two shots back with four birdies through 14 holes, alongside Indian Gaganjeet Bhullar, who had played ten holes.
Eduardo de la Riva, Kenneth De Silva, Keith Horne and Robert Rock then made up the group three shots off the lead.
Englishman David Horsey retired from the tournament after nine holes and later announced he was to have a knee operation which will keep him out of action until the Real Club Valderrama Open de España, hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation in April.