Chris Williams took the clubhouse lead midway through the opening day of the Benahavis Senior Masters at La Quinta Golf and Country Club thanks to a six under par round of 65.
On his tail, however, was Delroy Cambridge, who signed for a five under par round of 66, while Mark Mouland was seven under through nine holes.
Williams’ round came courtesy of a birdie on the fourth hole, which was followed by a bogey, before a superb run of four successive birdies from the seventh hole was followed by another gained shot on the 12th and an eagle on the par five 14th.
A bogey on the 17th meant the South African couldn’t equal Boonchu Ruangkit’s course record of 64 but handed him the clubhouse lead.
“I started off quite slow and was level par after six holes,” said the 53 year old, who finished second in the 2010 Senior Tour Order of Merit. “I put the four birdies together then and I was giving myself plenty of opportunities so I could be aggressive with my putter and I putted well.
“There are a couple of tough holes out there but if you play nicely here you’ll go low and the putting will be the difference.
“It’s about momentum. Once you gain momentum you start to go with it and on the seventh I hit a great drive and chipped and putted and that drive started me off.”
Delroy Cambridge was a shot further back after a round which included no less than seven birdies and, like Williams, he put what he described as one of his best rounds in three years down to his putting.
“I putted really well today,” said the Jamaican, “I missed two putts that I thought I should have made but otherwise I made everything. I didn’t hit the ball great, it was decent on the front nine and not so great on the back nine but I made some putts to save the round.
“After that long delay at 17, I got a little tired going down the 18th so I wasn’t too happy about how I finished but it’s a good round.
“I made seven birdies and to do that on these greens, I must have been rolling them really good. It was one of those rounds where it wasn’t solid tee to green but I kept it in play and that’s important.
“That’s one of the best rounds I've had in two years. In the last couple of years the putter has let me down and today I made more putts than I have in a long time so it feels good that I can do that.”An English trio of Mark James, Bradley Smith and Jim Rhodes were another shot back after four under par rounds of 67.