Brett Rumford made the most of home comforts to get the defence of his ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth title off to an excellent start at Lake Karrinyup Country Club.
The Perth native lost his playing privileges in 2016 but regained them in stunning style at the inaugural staging of this event, leading after all three days of stroke play and then progressing through four rounds of match play to win his sixth European Tour title.
The same format is in place for 2018, with the top 24 players after 54 holes advancing to the six-hole knockout matches, with the top eight players handed a bye into the second round on Sunday.
Rumford carded an eight under par 64 on day one to lead the way by two shots from Lee Westwood and James Nitties, and admitted he was enjoying being back on home soil.
"I just think there's some golf courses just suit your eye and others don't," he said.
"It's not always the case but generally you find as a trend that a lot of players go back and play well when they've had a lot of good performances there, and this is one of them.
"I don't know what it is but it definitely seems to be some kind of home course advantage.
"I'm leading, I'm inside the top 24 and that's my only focus this week, finish inside that number. Whether I lead the qualifying again? That would be a nice bonus but it's not my priority this week and I'm playing accordingly."
Thai duo Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Prom Meesawat, Frenchman Sébastien Gros, Australians Wade Ormsby, Jason Scrivener and Gareth Paddison, Malaysian Nicholas Fung, Japan's Daisuke Kataoka and South Korean Yikeun Chang were at five under.
I don't know what it is but it definitely seems to be some kind of home course advantage - Brett Rumford
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.
Nitties turned in 34 with four birdies and two bogeys before a run of five gains in seven holes from the first catapulted him up the leaderboard. The Australian then dropped a shot on the eighth to slip back to six under.
Aphibarnrat birdied five of his first six holes but played his last 12 in level par, while UBS Hong Kong Open champion Ormsby was bogey-free in his round.
Western Australia-based Scrivener had seven birdies and two bogeys in his round, with Gros overcoming a dropped shot on the fourth and a double-bogey on the 15th.
Zander Lombard made the second albatross of the season when he holed a two iron from 210 yards with his second shot on the 15th en route to a 68, with seven other players also at four under.