England's Simon Dyson is in a four-way tie for the lead after carding a five-under 67 on day one of the Russian Open.
The York golfer - a six-time winner on the European Tour - shares top spot with Swede Rikard Karlberg and China's Liang Wen-chong.
England's Matthew Baldwin and James Morrison, Spain's Javier Colomo and Italian Alessandro Tadini are all a shot back after 68s.
"That was as good as I have played for a long, long time," said Dyson, who birdied three of the four par fives (4, 8 and 15) and made further gains at 10 and 13.
"I missed one fairway and that was by a yard and then just hit so many quality iron shots. It was coming straight out of the middle of the clubface all day and when you are hitting it like that then you just have to enjoy and try to take as many chances as you can.
"I don't want to say I am disappointed with five under because you can never be too disappointed with that, but it could have been a lot better because I missed a few real good birdie chances and left a few shots out there today.
"But, as I said, I am not going to get too down on myself because I played so well out there today and I just can't wait to get back out there now because I am feeling good."
Sky Bet had made the 35-year-old the pre-tournament favourite going into the event but Dyson said it hadn't caused any extra pressure.
"I don't think being the favourite to win the tournament has any effect on me. I had loads of people from back home texting and ringing me to say I was the favourite so I was aware of that before I teed off today and it certainly didn't have a bad effect."
"I quite like the idea of being the one everyone thinks will win the tournament actually - it is certainly the first time that has ever happened in my career!"
Karlberg, playing in his 50th European Tour event, was the first to post five-under. His round included an eagle at the eighth, five birdies and two bogeys.
His Fellow Sweden Jarmo Sandelin produced the shot of the day, making a hole-in-one at the 220-yard 16th with a rescue club.
Former Russian tennis ace Yevgeny Kafelnikov played his first three holes in seven over but steadied the ship to return a nine-over 81.