Martin Kaymer delighted the home fans with a bogey free 67 that left him just one shot off the lead midway through day one of the BMW International Open.
An elite field had gathered at Golfclub München Eichenried and two time Major Champion Kaymer took big crowds with him as he moved to five under, just one shot behind Andrea Pavan.
The Italian had a career best season in 2018, claiming a breakthrough European Tour win at the D+D Real Czech Masters and finishing 34th on the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex.
He has yet to register a top ten in 2019 but an opening 66 in Munich represented his best round of the season so far.
Kaymer has four Ryder Cups on his CV and he was joined at five under by 2008 Ryder Cup player Oliver Wilson.
Dane Jeff Winther was at four under, a shot clear of a group containing defending champion and World Number 24 Matt Wallace.
Kaymer's last European Tour victory came at the 2014 U.S. Open Championship but the German is beginning to show signs of the form that made him a Race to Dubai Champion and World Number One.
The 34-year-old claimed the second of his 11 European Tour wins at this event 11 years ago and he was delighting the home crowds again on Thursday.
Starting on the back nine, he birdied the 11th, 13th, 16th and 18th but then made eight straight pars, including a couple of impressive saves.
He was never in any danger on the ninth, hitting the green at the par five in two and claiming a fifth gain of the day.
Starting on the tenth, Pavan got off to a flying start, eagling the par five 11th and making birdies on the 12th, 13th and 15th as he turned in 31.
An approach to 12 feet on the fifth helped move him to six under and an excellent pitch on the par five sixth meant he had a comfortable cushion at the top.
Trouble off the tee then brought his only bogey of the day at the last as he made his best start to an event since last season's KLM Open.
Wilson entered the season without full playing privileges but five top tens already mean his place on Tour should be secure for 2020 as he looks for a second victory.
The 38-year-old birdied the 11th and 12th and bounced back from a bogey on the 15th with further gains on the 16th and 17th.
Another birdie on the fourth edged him further up the leaderboard and an approach to tap-in range at the next had him in solo second before Kaymer's late birdie.
Winther made a slow start with a bogey on the second but fought back well with birdies on the fifth, sixth, 13th, 16th and last.
Race to Dubai leader Wallace had four birdies and a bogey in his round to sit at three under in a group of 13 players that also included European Tour winners Gaganjeet Bhullar, Richard McEvoy, Haydn Porteous, Alvaro Quiros, Andy Sullivan and Romain Wattel.
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