Brett Rumford insisted he did not feel any pressure playing in front of his home fans as he took a share of the first-round lead at the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth.
The Perth native has finished in the top 20 in his last three appearances at Lake Karrinyup Country Club and an opening 66 got him to six under alongside England's Mark Foster.
There were then 21 players within two shots of top spot on a congested leaderboard as players jostled to make it into Sunday's innovative new six-hole match play knockout.
A regular cut will take place on Friday before the field is cut to 24 players for Sunday's finale in what is a first for the European Tour.
Rumford began the 2017 campaign by finishing fifth at the Australian PGA Championship and was looking to continue his good form in his homeland as he attempts to reclaim the playing privileges he lost last season.
"I actually feel as though the year has kind of been flipped on its head and I don't really feel any pressure whatsoever," he said. "I'm just taking it one tournament at a time.
"I don't feel pressure to win but my focus is on purely winning every golf tournament I'm trying to get into. So it's a bit of funny psychology. My weeks off, I'm quite relaxed and I'm just prepping for that next opportunity to go out and play well."
I don't feel pressure to win but my focus is on purely winning every golf tournament I'm trying to get into - Brett Rumford
The 39 year old made birdies on the tenth, 11th, 14th and 15th - with a single dropped shot on the 13th - to turn in 33 before making further gains on the first and fourth. An approach to eight feet on the seventh then brought a seventh birdie of the day and a one-shot lead.
Foster also turned in 33 and then added further gains on the first, fourth and fifth to join the lead.
The Englishman also lost his card last year but quickly reclaimed it at the Qualifying School and is embarking on a 16th consecutive season on Tour.
"I'm pleasantly surprised," he said. "You come all this way and you don't know what to expect and, obviously, as the round went on it got better so I was really pleased.
"You just come down, you want to give yourself a chance, so I came down early because I've not been playing anything, so that was the best thing I probably could have done."
There was a group of ten players a shot off the lead containing three more Western Australians in Steve Dartnall, Daniel Fox and Jason Scrivener, alongside countrymen Adam Blyth and Lucas Herbert.
As the round went on it got better so I was really pleased - Mark Foster
American duo Casey O'Toole and Johannes Veerman were also at five under with Englishman Robert Dinwiddie, German Sebastian Heisele and Japan's Hideto Tanihara.
Australia's Steven Jeffress, Taylor MacDonald, Dimitrios Papadatos and Josh Younger, Thailand's Thitiphun Chuayprakong, Phacara Khongwatmai and Pavit Tangkamolprasert, Spanish duo Pep Angles and Carlos Pigem, Finland's Mikko Korhonen and Englishman Jordan Smith were then all at four under.