Scotland's John Chillas and Australia's David Good both carded rounds of five under par 65 to claim a one shot lead after the first round of the Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open at Bad Ragaz GC in Switzerland.
The Scot and the Australian go into the second round one shot ahead of a large group comprising Jerry Bruner, Ray Carrasco, David Creamer, Denis O'Sullivan, Ian Stanley, Noel Ratcliffe, Bobby Verwey and Norman Wood.
The current European Seniors Tour Number One, Seiji Ebihara, shares eleventh place with compatriot, Dragon Taki, Australian Ian Stanley, Englishman Ian Mosey, Jamaican Delroy Cambridge and Americans John Grace and Steve Stull on three under par 67.
Chillas, the club professional at Glenbervie, carded no less than eight birdies on the tight and tree-lined Bag Ragaz course. The Scot recorded his first birdie on the 480 yard par five fourth hole, dropped shots at the fifth and sixth but then also birdied the 205 yard par three ninth to go out in 35. He dropped a third shot of the day at the par five 12th but then more than made amends by racing home with five consecutive birdies from the 13th.
"That was a solid round of golf," said the Scottish rookie who went into this event lying in seventh place on the Seniors Tour's Order of Merit. "It's the sort of course that you have to hit the ball straight and then hole a few putts and that's just about what I did."
Good got off to a fast start when he birdied the 374 yard first and the 334 yard second and he went on to add four more on the eighth, the tenth, the 16th and the 17th. His only dropped shot came on the 161 yard par three 11th where he missed the green from the tee and then failed to get up and down.
"I felt a bit tired when I started but I hit the ball well," said the 54 year old from Mornington, Victoria, who underwent an operation on a blocked artery in his heart about 14 months ago.
"I haven't been concentrating all that well for the last few weeks but today was much better. I am looking forward to the weekend.
The man that the leaders might both be watching is 54 year old Japanese golfer, Seiji Ebihara, who has won three times already on this season's Seniors Tour. Last week, at the De Vere PGA Seniors Open at the De Vere Carden Park, Ebihara did not drop a single shot over his last 57 holes while romping to a 10 shot victory. In Switzerland, he bogeyed the 418 yard par five fifth but then bounced back with four birdies over his closing 13 holes.
Ebihara is one of 16 golfers to go into the second round within two shots of the lead and a further 13 golfers were tied in 17th place on 68.
Scotland's David Huish, searching for an historic third successive victory at Bad Ragaz, dropped shots at both the fourth and the fifth but then recovered bravely to share 38th place on level par 70.
"I normally start slow here," said Huish, who opened with a 73 and a 70 when capturing the title in 2000 and 2001.
"The plan is to get out early tomorrow and then post a good score the others have to catch.
“It has worked for the last two years, but there's a lot of golfers in front of me so I am going to have to do some special to catch them all."
The shot of the day came from America’s Steve Stull, the winner of this season’s Royal Westmoreland Barbados Open.
Stull holed a seven iron from 161 yards on the 422 yard par four 14th and then produced a second eagle on the 478 yard par five 16th where he hit a seven wood to two feet for a three.
“I got a little bit lucky on the 13th,” said Stull, who won last year’s Seniors Tour Qualifying School by a record ten shots. “I knew that if I hit a seven iron perfectly I would hit it five or six yards too far, but it came out of the toe a bit and turned out to be just right.
“On the 16th, I thought ‘Oh, here we go again.’ I hit the seven wood perfect and when it landed I thought it would roll straight into the hole. It didn’t, of course, but two eagles in four holes certainly improves your score in a hurry.”
Further down the leaderboard, it was another bad day for former Ryder Cup captain, Bernard Gallacher, who posted a disappointing four over par 74.
Since winning his first Seniors Tour title at the Mobile Cup at the Stoke Park Club, Buckinghamshire, the Scot has missed the cut at both the Senior British Open, presented by MasterCard, and the De Vere PGA Seniors Championship.