Adri Arnaus fired the lowest opening round of his fledgling European Tour career to set the clubhouse target on day one of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.
The Spaniard finished second on last season's European Challenge Tour Rankings and has made an encouraging start to his European Tour campaign, making five out of seven cuts.
An eagle and four birdies helped him to a five under par 67 in round one at Doha Golf Club, one shot clear of South African pair George Coetzee and Justin Harding, and Chilean Hugo Leon.
There were then 12 players at three under after a nip and tuck morning in typically windy conditions on the coast.
Arnaus eagled the par five 18th to go with birdies on the tenth and 16th and, when he then birdied the second, he held the solo lead at five under.
Playing partner Leon also birdied the second to sit a shot off the lead after making gains on the 12th, 14th, 16th and 18th to go with a dropped shot on the 13th.
Harding made a birdie-birdie start but dropped a shot on the 12th before picking it back up on the next.
A run of five pars would follow as he turned in 34 but he birdied the first and ninth - from eight feet - to set the target with a 68.
Coetzee started birdie-bogey but made three birdies in a row from the fifth and when he broke a run of ten pars thanks to a beautiful pitch on the last, there was a five way tie for the lead.
Arnaus dropped a shot on the fifth and missed a golden chance to retrieve it from eight feet on the eighth but he made no mistake on his last hole to edge back ahead on his own.
Leon dropped a shot on the seventh but also birdied the ninth to get back to four under.
India's Gaganjeet Bhullar had been at five under, while Scot Robert MacIntyre and England's Lee Slattery had both shared the lead before falling back to three under.
Spaniards Ivan Cantero Gutierrez and Scott Fernandez, England's Ross Fisher, Japan's Masahiro Kawamura and Yusaku Miyazato, German Maximilian Kieffer, American Kurt Kitayama, Welshman Stuart Manley and South African Erik van Rooyen were all also two off the lead.