David Horsey and Stephen Gallacher were delighted with their upturn in form on day one of the Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers.
Horsey's nine under par 61 gave him a one shot clubhouse lead over Gallacher on the opening morning at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club.
England's Horsey has finished in the top 100 on the Race to Dubai in ten of the last 12 seasons, but missed the cut in his first two events of 2021.
“It's a shock actually,” he said, after carding nine birdies – seven of which came in a spectacular inward 28. “I've been playing rubbish the last couple weeks. Didn't feel like I controlled my ball the first two events.
“I had a conversation with a pal back home last night, talking a few things through and he suggested something that I work on away from the tournament.
“Knowing me, I thought, well, can't get any worse, so I may as well try it and here we are.
“It's really just how my body is moving - quite sort of technical really. It's nice to have a feel you can wake up and pick up straight away.
Today marks Stephen Gallacher's 584th European Tour event.— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) February 4, 2021
His round one 62 is the lowest opening round of his career ✍️#SaudiIntlGolf | @Workday
“I didn't really feel like I missed many shots. I holed a couple of nice, lengthy putts as well and it all adds up to 61.”
Two of Gallacher's four European Tour titles have come in the Middle East but the Scot endured a difficult 2020 campaign as he finished 173rd in the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex.
“I actually hit it really close to the pin today which was good, and I managed to hole those sort of ten foot putts for birdie I had,” the former Ryder Cup player said after making ten birdies and two bogeys. “It was one of those just go on a roll and kept knocking them in.
“It was just draw a line in the sand for 2020. With everything that happened: the pandemic, my dad, losing friends, it was just one of those terrible years.
“I couldn't wait for 2021 to come really and get back to a bit of normal - back playing and back enjoying it.
“I worked hard in the winter in the gym and on my net in the house, and came out early and showed a bit of form early doors. 2020, just erase it from my memory and look forward now to 2021.”