Matteo Manassero continued his fine record at DLF Golf and Country Club to share the clubhouse lead with Pablo Larrazábal and Paul Peterson on day one of the Hero Indian Open.
The Italian's tie for third in New Delhi was his best result of last season and he was well in contention on days one and two before Indian Open specialist SSP Chawrasia pulled away for his second consecutive win over the weekend.
On that occasion Manassero opened with a 68 and he went one better on Thursday to get to five under and set the target alongside playing partner Peterson and Spain's Larrazábal.
Larrazábal's 67 was an incredible feat containing nine birdies after he almost missed his tee-time due to his alarm not going off and was woken just 38 minutes before he was due to tee off.
For American Peterson, it is another impressive display as he looks to regain his card after finishing 119th on last season's Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex.
Portuguese Ricardo Gouveia was two shots off the lead alongside Malaysia's Nicholas Fung, Australian Terry Pilkadaris and Thai Panuphol Pittayarat.
Manassero birdied the 12th and 14th but made a double-bogey on the 15th before going bogey-birdie to turn in 36.
He then came to life on the front nine, birdieing the first, chipping in on the third and adding further birdies on the fourth and sixth before a ten-foot left-to-righter on the seventh had him in a share of the lead.
He dropped a shot after finding trouble off the tee on the next but regained it on the ninth.
Larrazábal needed a wake-up call from a European Tour official and a mad dash in a courtesy car to make his tee-time but showed no ill effects once he reached the course.
The four-time European Tour winner birdied the 11th but double-bogeyed the 15th after a four-putt, bouncing back with a hat-trick of birdies before the turn.
A three-putt on the first threatened to stall his progress but he made five birdies in a row from the fourth - including a holed bunker-shot on the fifth - before making another three-putt on the ninth.
Peterson birdied the seventh, eighth and ninth to surge into a share of the lead after making gains on the 11th, 16th and first and bogeying the sixth.
Birdies on the first, sixth, seventh and eighth helped Gouveia join the early lead but he sandwiched a gain on the 14th with bogeys on the 13th and 17th on the way in.
Pittayarat was bogey-free in his 69, while Fung and Pilkadaris both made six birdies and three bogeys.
Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Bjørn was then in the group at two under alongside England's James Morrison, Thai veteran Prayad Marksaeng and American Sihwan Kim.
Thai Danthai Boonma had been in a share of the lead but a quadruple-bogey on the last dropped him into the group at one under.