Sebastian Heisele and Scott Jamieson carded matching bogey-free rounds of 65 to share the lead after round one of the 2022 Ras Al Khaimah Championship presented by Phoenix Capital.
Going out in the first group of the day, Heisele carded seven birdies to hit the front at seven under and lead the way for the first time in a DP World Tour event, while Jamieson continued the fine form that sees him sit 21st in the fledgling DP World Tour Rankings Presented by Rolex.
While Scotsman Jamieson has enjoyed a bright start to the season, leading for three rounds in the Rolex Series at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, Heisele is teeing it up for the first time in five months.
The German revealed he had been struggling at times last season with concentration and nervousness and he shut his season down in September and had his thyroid removed.
He is now feeling much better but admitted even he did not expect this turn around in fortunes, having not made a cut since the Scottish Open in July.
"I got to a point last year where I couldn’t compete to be honest," he said. "I didn’t feel quite there, couldn’t concentrate and was quite nervous and couldn’t recover very well and I knew something was up.
"So I had my thyroid removed in early October and I feel like a new man more or less. I turned things around for the better for me so I’m happy I got it done.
“I couldn’t imagine sat on the plane that it would be like this, I was a bit nervous and didn’t know what to expect. I had a few decent days of practice leading up to today obviously and made the most of it.
"This is one of the better rounds I’ve had in a while so on we go to tomorrow."
Jamieson was not pleased with his game off the tee on day one but was happy to be in contention again after finishes of tied-tenth and tied-35th so far in 2022.
I had my thyroid removed in early October and I feel like a new man more or less. I turned things around for the better for me - Sebastian Heisele
“My iron play was good today, I didn’t actually drive it particularly well," he said. "I wasn’t miles off the fairways but the fairways are firm so tricky to hit. But there’s not a great deal of rough so I was able to still get it reasonably close.
"Your bad tee-shots will still be punished, if you’re far enough off line from the tee there’s some pretty nasty lies in the sand. So it’s a second shot golf course, if you can hit it in close and take advantage you should be in good shape."
Heisele put an excellent approach to four feet at the fifth and then holed from 19 feet at the seventh before getting up and down from the sand at the next to turn in 33.
He then hit a smart approach into the 11th, holed from off the green at the 12th, recovered from a poor tee-shot to birdie the par-five 14th and put his second to five feet at the 17th.
Jamieson started on the tenth and left himself six feet for birdie at the 11th before setting up a tap-in on the 17th and holing from off the green at the 18th.
A two-putt birdie on the par-five third started a hat-trick of gains and when he also took advantage of the par-five eighth, the 38-year-old shared the lead.
Detry made a three-birdie start and was in a share of the lead when he made a seventh of the day on the 14th but the gave it straight back on the next in his 66.
Stone and Veerman were both bogey-free in their rounds, while Law played a lay-up on the par-five last but holed his third from 71 yards to join the group in second.
Southgate started his round in spectacular style, holing out from 112 yards for an opening eagle, while Højgaard carded six birdies and a bogey.