Edoardo Molinari believes his game is improving after he posted an opening 66 to sit two shots off the lead following the first round of the 2023 Ras Al Khaimah Championship.
The 41-year-old Ryder Cup Vice Captain shot seven birdies on Thursday - including three in a row from the second hole - with his only blemish coming on the 12th.
The three-time DP World Tour winner has shown good form in the 2023 season so far, claiming top-20 finishes at the Investec South African Open Championship and Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
And the Italian feels his game is getting better despite the fact he turns 42 next weekend.
He said: "The game is improving.
"I’m getting older but I’m getting better. I go week by week.
"It’s going to be a long year with the Ryder Cup and I would like to play a few more Majors.
"If I sneak in a win or two, that would be nice."
Reflecting on his first-round performance, Molinari added: "Today I made some putts for a change.
"I feel like I’ve been playing well the last couple of weeks, especially last week I hit the ball well but just couldn’t read the greens. This week so far it seems better."
Dane Rasmus Højgaard sits alongside Molinari on six under - two shots behind first-round leader Ryo Hisatsune - after his bogey-free 66.
Højgaard's birdies came in pairs as he made gains at the 12th and 13th before closing his front nine with another double on the 17th and 18th.
He then got two more at the sixth and seventh as he came home in 34 blows.
The 21-year-old, who was recently sidelined by a shoulder injury, said: "It wasn’t as pretty on the course as it was on the scorecard.
"I managed to get away with a few shots and holed a few good putts. Overall it was a very good day.
"(The injury) has not 100% cleared up, but I can manage it now. I’ve got full speed so I can play but have to be careful about not practising too much. It’s getting better day by day."