Bernd Wiesberger overcame an injury scare to grind his way to an opening bogey free 66 as he goes in search of a second Rolex Series victory of the season at the Italian Open.
The Austrian missed the last seven months of the 2018 Race to Dubai with a wrist injury but this time it was his ankle that was bothering him after he turned it on the second hole and needed some assistance from the physios.
Luckily, the problem brought no more than discomfort to the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open champion, and he he made some impressive par saves on the way home to go with five birdies at Olgiata Golf Club.
That left the 34-year-old two shots off the lead and he was happy with his work on the outskirts of the Italian capital.
"I'm quite pleased," said the man third on the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex.
"We got a couple of testers on the back nine when we faced a few of the lag putts which we raced past or left short so I was happy to keep the round going there. We could have easily slipped a little bit and dropped a few back.
"I stayed composed there when I had to grind a little bit and got rewarded on the last two so I'm quite pleased with today's work."
He added: "We walked down the second hole and I just tripped over my ankle. I've had it before. It was a little bit uncomfortable walking, especially pushing off sideslopes and stuff, so I had my physio come out and the guys from the physio unit helped out as well to tape it up.
"I had no pain walking or anything, it's just a little uncomfortable pushing off the right leg. I'm sure we'll sort it out."
Justin Rose was also at five under as he recovered from a stuttering front nine to come home in 31, and the World Number Five was proud of his battling performance.
"I stayed just about patient enough on the front nine," he said. "I had a tough run from the second to sixth, didn't play very well at all and rode the storm there a little bit, reset.
"Probably my putting is what I was happiest with today. I really rolled it beautifully from ten, 12, 15 feet today, capitalised a lot on my opportunities. I felt like it was one of those days where I walked off the golf course going, 'made the most of that round for sure'.
"I saw a few more quality shots on the back nine, with my irons especially, found my start line a bit more. Just a click more into gear and see more consistency with that."