South African Thriston Lawrence and Spaniard Alejandro Cañizares shared the lead after the first round of the Omega European Masters.
Cañizares has endured a difficult year so far, with his best finish of the 2022 campaign coming at the Catalunya Championship where he came joint-42nd.
But he was back to his best in the mountains on Thursday morning, firing nine birdies and a solitary bogey to join Lawrence at the top of the leaderboard on eight under par.
Lawrence, who started from the 10th tee, made six birdies before closing his round with a pitch-in eagle for a spotless 62.
Four-time DP World Tour winner Matt Wallace was in a tie for third on six under after his 64, alongside fellow early starters Louis de Jager and Eduardo de la Riva, as they made the most of favourable morning conditions at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club. Scott Jamieson then joined them on that mark in the afternoon.
Past champions were in the mix after day one of the 50th staging of the Omega European Masters on the DP World Tour, with last year’s winner Rasmus Højgaard on five under and Sebastian Soderberg at three under.
Lawrence, the first winner of the DP World Tour era at the Joburg Open back in November, waited patiently for his first birdie on Thursday, notching four pars before opening his account at the 14th.
He then reeled off three straight gains from the 16th before picking up further shots from around 10 feet at the 4th and 6th.
A closing eagle put the finishing touches to Lawrence’s 62 as he pitched in from 31 yards at the 9th.
“Bogey free, so that’s always a tick in the box,” he said. “Started off nicely, a lot of fairways, a lot of greens, gave myself a lot of 15-footers and managed to make a few.
“A nice little pitch in on the ninth to finish off, so very pleased about that.
“It’s been awesome, the whole season has gone well. It was nice to have a top ten last week and to open here with a 62 is always a pleasure.
“It’s lovely, how can you not enjoy this scenery? Even if you’re playing badly, you still have something to look at. Amazing golf course, amazing views, I’m having lots of fun.”
– Edited report from DP World Tour website