Ernie Els leads by one after an opening nine-under 63 at the BMW International Open in Munich.
The South African had seven birdies and an eagle during a blemish-free effort that was one away from the course record.
Starting on the back nine, Els birdied three in a row from the 11th and picked up further shots at the 16th and 18th to reach the turn in 31.
And the reigning Open champion followed a birdie at the second with an eagle at the par-five sixth after hitting his approach out of the rough from 250 yards to five feet.
Els had another eagle putt at his last hole to equal the course record but it came up six inches short and he had to settle for a closing birdie.
That left him one ahead of a four-man group containing England's Matthew Baldwin, Robert-Jan Derksen of the Netherlands, Germany's Martin Kaymer and Swede Alex Noren.
Baldwin had four birdies on each half of the course during his bogey-free 64, while Derksen and Noren were also round in the same number without dropping a shot.
Home hope Kaymer, who won this tournament in 2008, did run up a bogey at the seventh but came home in 30 shots, including three birdies in a row to finish.
A total of 99 players broke par, including American Ryder Cup player Dustin Johnson (66), defending champion Danny Willett (69) and Spain's Sergio Garcia (71).
The ideal scoring conditions represented a welcome change for those - including Els - who played in last week's US Open at Merion.
Will Justin Rose win another major this year?
Yes - The Open
Yes - The USPGA
Yes - The Open and USPGA