David Horsey made an emphatic start to the Saudi International by carding a spectacular nine-under-par 61 for the opening round on Thursday.
The European Tour players were out bright and early at the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club with a number of PGA Tour regulars also in the mix.
But, it was the Englishman, who enjoyed a fast start to the weekend, taking the lead with a brilliant performance.
Horsey signed off for a bogey-free display, which included five straight birdies on the back nine to edge ahead.
He will, however, only take a one-shot lead into the second round with Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher in second place after his round of 62.
No 59, but you’d take a 61 ✍️
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) February 4, 2021
The big-hitting Bryson DeChambeau made a decent start at the event, carding a five-under-par 65 for his opening day.
George Coetzee made the best start out of the group of South Africans in the field. Coetzee went four under for his round and occupied 10th spot ahead of the second round.
World No 1 Dustin Johnson finished his day only a further stroke back on three under, thanks to his opening-round 67.
Justin Harding, Justin Walters and Christiaan Bezuidenhout will all start Friday’s action on two under with Dean Burmester and Richard Sterne on one under.
Ernie Els and Jayden Schaper were made to sweat, however, and could only manage respective rounds of four-over-par 74.