Graeme Storm shot a course record 63 to take a two-shot lead after the opening day of the KLM Open.
The Hartlepool native birdied two of the last three holes to nudge ahead of a tightly-packed leaderboard which sees European Ryder Cup team members Martin Kaymer and Peter Hanson among the leading challengers.
Kaymer shot a five-under-par 65, the highlight of which was an eagle at the 12th hole, to join Fabrizio Zanotti and Raphael Jacquelin in second place.
Hanson was a shot further back after a round containing five birdies and a solitary bogey at the sixth.
The third member of Jose Maria Olazabal's team in action, Belgian wild-card pick Nicolas Colsaerts, was level par - while Olazabal's eventful one-over-par 71 contained one of the highlights of the day when he chipped in from a bunker for one of his five birdies.
Storm made a steady start and was one under through six holes before back-to-back birdies at the next two holes sparked his round into life.
He gained another pair of shots at 11 and 12 to join the leaders before his strong finish took him clear of the pack at seven under.
"I made the birdies when I gave myself the chances and I managed to get up and down when I missed the greens," he said.
"I was in contention for three-and-a-half rounds in Switzerland last week after struggling in recent months. So I am just happy to get a round like that under my belt.
Continue playing well
"I've also got the caddie David Lynn had when he won this event in 2004 so he has plenty of experience, and hopefully I can continue playing well this week and he will be there for me."
Storm teed up in the Netherlands ranked 353rd in the world and, more importantly, 114th in the Race to Dubai. He's desperate to end the season inside the top 115 to retain full European Tour membership for next season.
"Keeping my card for 2013 is the goal now," he said.
"At the start of the year it was finishing top 60 on the Race to Dubai but I'm a long way from that goal now so the big incentive in the golf I have left this year is to be here again next year."
Zanotti's round was also bogey-free, starting with two birdies and finishing with another, while Jacquelin began with a bogey at the ninth before going eagle-birdie at 12 and 13, picking up further shots at holes one to three and finishing off with a birdie at eight.
Kaymer's front nine contained three birdies before a chaotic back nine balanced two birdies, two bogeys and that eagle.
England's Danny Willett was one of three British challengers alongside Hanson on four under while Paul Casey and Oliver Fisher feature in a large group at three under.
Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano birdied the last to join that group while Michael Campbell, the 2005 US Open champion from New Zealand, was two under along with Swede Henrik Stenson.