Local favourite Paul Waring produced an eagle-birdie finish on day one of the 2022 Cazoo Classic to tie the course record at Hillside Golf Club and open up a two-shot lead.
After carding seven birdies and a single bogey in his first 16 holes to join the large group on six under at the top of the leaderboard, Waring holed his bunker shot at the par-five 17th for a tremendous eagle to hit the front on his own.
And he followed that up with a closing birdie putt from 13 feet to sign for a 63, matching the course record set by Matthew Jordan in 2019.
Waring's nine-under-par total saw him lead by two from nearest challenger Garrick Porteous, with Jens Dantorp, Julien Guerrier, Grant Forrest and Richard Mansell another shot back on six under.
Waring, who is looking for a second DP World Tour title having won his first at the 2018 Nordea Masters, picked up birdies at the second, fourth and fifth before dropping his only shot of the day on the sixth.
The 37-year-old bounced back with a 20-foot birdie putt at the eighth before further gains at the 11th, 13th and 15th earned him a share of the lead on six under.
After missing the green with his approach into the 17th and ending up in a bunker, Waring produced a shot-of-the-day contender, holing his tricky effort from the sand for an unlikely eagle moments after playing partner Eddie Pepperell had just secured a sensational hole-out eagle of his own.
A closing birdie followed for Waring as he ensured he finished the first round with the solo lead.
Speaking about his group's eagle exhibition at the 17th, Waring said: "To be fair, Eddie's was unbelievable. He's hit this perfect long iron, little fade, then running up the bank and holed it.
"I've missed my shot left into that bunker and I'd left myself a bit of a funny stance so I'm kind of hopping around, trying to find some sort of lie. The lie of the ball was pretty good, just the stance was a bit awkward, but I hit a great shot, hit it perfectly.
"I actually shouted over to him 'all square, next tee!'."
On his round, Waring added: "I started nicely, controlled my ball pretty well all day.
"It's funny, I'd felt like I've been playing nicely over the last few weeks and months, just not having any results so to actually put it all together for a round of golf, I'm absolutely made up.
"It's nice having all the support from everyone."
Fellow Englishman Porteous fired eight birdies and a solitary bogey in his opening 65.
Porteous said: “I love playing links golf, so to get out there, it is all very familiar to me.
"I got off to a bit of a slow start, bogeyed 12, started on the back and hit some nice wedges, sort of 14, 15 to get things going again.
"I just played solid, hit the ball lovely. The putter let me down a little bit but I will take seven under in the first round."