Defending champion Brett Rumford continued his love affair with Lake Karrinyup Country Club as he carded an opening 64 on day one of the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth.
The Perth native domianted proceedings in the inauguaral event last season, leading for all three days of stroke play before taking the title after the Super 6 match play format on Sunday.
A stunning opening nine of 29 helped him threaten to do so again and while he dropped two shots after the turn, he bounced back to get to eight under and lead by two from Lee Westwood.
Frenchman Sébastien Gros, Australian Jason Scrivener, Malaysian Nicholas Fung, Japan's Daisuke Kataoka and Thai Prom Meesawat were then at five under.
Rumford made just two pars in his first nine holes with birdies on the tenth, 11th, 12th, 14th, 15th, 17th and 18th - courtesy of a monster putt - to lead by three.
Playing partner Westwood was doing his best to keep pace and the Englishman made an eagle on the 15th thanks to a spectacular lengthy chip-in to go with birdies on the 11th and 12th.
Rumford then dropped a shot on the first and the lead was cut to one when Westwood made a birdie on the second.
A two-shot swing was to follow as Westwood birdied the third with Rumford dropping a shot but the 40 year old got back into a share of the lead as he picked it straight back up with a 20-foot putt on the fourth.
The duo were three shots clear of the field when they both birdied the sixth before a Rumford birdie coupled with a Westwood bogey handed the home favourite a two-shot lead.
Scrivener has been involved in a late-season battle to keep his card for the past three seasons but a top ten at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic has got his 2018 campaign off to an excellent start.
The Western Australia-based star did not have it all his own way on Thursday as he bogeyed the 14th and second but he responded with birdies on the 12th, 16th, 18th, first, fourth, fifth and seventh.
Gros lost his playing privileges last season but has two wins on the Challenge Tour and looked to be back to somehting like his best in a battling 67.
The Frenchman turned in 34 with three birdies and a bogey and then overcame a double-bogey on the 15th with gains on the 11th, 13th, 14th, 16th and 18th.
Meesawat and Kataoka were bogey-free for their rounds, while Fung was challenging for the lead before bogeying the seventh and eighth, although he did recover with a closing birdie.
South African Zander Lombard made the second albatross of the season when he holed a two iron from 210 yards on the 15th en route to a 68.
American duo David Lipsky and Seung-su Han and Swede Jens Fahrbring were also at four under along with Thai Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who birdied his first four holes to make a flying start in the afternoon.
There were then nine players in the clubhouse five shots off the lead.