James Morrison produced a brilliant burst of scoring around the turn as he fired a superb 64 in tricky conditions to lead by one shot after the first day of the Estrella Damm NA Andalucía Masters.
Spain has been a happy hunting ground for the Englishman, who claimed his second DP World Tour title at the Open de España in 2015, and he shone again in Andalucia on Thursday to reach eight under par.
Morrison enjoyed a remarkable hot streak in the middle of his round, making one eagle and five birdies in seven holes either side of the turn.
Strong winds made life difficult for the players in the afternoon, with Morrison dropping his only shot on the 15th.
But he made a spectacular bounce-back birdie on the 16th before producing a fine par save at the last as the wind buffeted him.
Fellow morning starter Nick Bachem was Morrison’s nearest challenger on seven under after he carded an eagle, seven birdies and two bogeys in his 65.
Defending champion Adrian Otaegui, who won at nearby Real Club Valderrama 12 months ago, was a shot further back following his bogey-free 66.
Daniel Gavins and Wil Besseling were in a tie for fourth on five under, with afternoon starter Jeong weon Ko among those on four under after 15 holes of his round when play was suspended due to fading light.
South Africans Louis de Jager and Zander Lombard shared sixth position with four other players after rounds of 68.
– Edited report from DP World Tour
Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images