England's David Dixon produced the lowest round of his European Tour career to lead the Vivendi Cup 2010 at Golf de Joyenval in Paris.
The former Silver Medal winner had an eagle and seven birdies in a nine under par 63, which was four shots better than his previous best this season.
The 33 year old is 145th on The Race to Dubai and knows all too well that he needs to be in the top 115 to retain his European Tour card.
However, he is no stranger to retaining playing privileges late in the season - his top ten finish at last year's UBS Hong Kong Open secured his card for 2010 with the last throw of the dice.
"I've been driving it great, hitting the driver really good and putting myself right up by the greens," said Dixon.
"And my wedge play has been really good as well, been working on that a bit. It's easy when you're hitting it off the fairway with a wedge in your hand and getting the yardages spot on and then the putts drop, as well. That's a bonus, isn't it?
"I got a bit of confidence early on. I hit a bad tee shot on the first into the forest and hacked it out and put it on the green and holed about an eight foot putt for a par.
"And then I thought, that's just nice, made a really good par, and just feels good and gives you that bit of confidence over the next few."
Dixon led by two from compatriot Chris Gane, with James Morrison, Scot Andrew McArthur, France's François Delamontagne and Dutchman Robert-Jan Derksen three off the pace.
Gane - sixth in last week's Austrian GolfOpen presented by Botarin - was delighted to continue his good form.
After losing a ball at the third he turned in 35, but a 40 foot eagle putt at the driveable par four 11th contributed to a back nine 30 as he finished the day seven under.
"It's wonderful, I obviously enjoyed last week a lot," said Gane. "All of the text messages on Sunday night, it's fantastic to get all of them. Just great to pick up from where we left off last week.
"I've started badly today - golf swing didn't feel very good at all. And then around the turn, I went 2-2, birdied around the turn and that really got me going the right direction and had another burst of three in a row at the end.
McArthur was happy to return to form after a disappointing season in which his best finish was 29th at the BMW Italian Open.
That was one of only six cuts made all year on The European Tour by the former Scottish Amateur Champion, who having graduated from The Challenge Tour last year is only 219th on The Race to Dubai.
"Quite happy with it," he said. "I missed quite a few putts, but the course is pretty playable. Obviously to get a decent start's pretty important."
Derksen hit his approach to 18 inches on the 14th to spark a hattrick of birdies, and carded seven in all as the Dutchman looks to secure his place at the Dubai World Championship.
The highlight of Madeira Islands BPI - Portugal winner Morrison's bogey-free round came with an eagle at the par five 16th.
Delamontagne was delighted to put in a good display in front of his home fans as he also negotiated his way around without dropping a shot.
"It was a lovely day on a lovely course," he said.