Paul Lawrie has produced a wonderful opening round to hold the clubhouse lead at the Sicilian Open, but the Irishman will face plenty of pressure to maintain his position heading into the weekend.
An eight-under round of 64 got Lawrie off to the ideal start at Verdura Golf & Spa Resort in Italy on Thursday (local time), with some high-class putting the key to his low score.
"I putted beautifully, especially on the front nine," Lawrie said.
"I holed two 20-footers in a row and I didn't hole a single 20-footer for the entire season last year."
The 38-year-old had every right to be pleased with his sharp turnaround in form, having entered the tournament with four missed cuts in six starts in 2012.
"I've got off to a bit of a slow start this season, but perhaps this will give me the kick up the backside I need," he commented.
Argentina's Tano Goya and Dane Soren Kjeldsen are in a share of outright second, just one shot behind Lawrie at seven under the card.
A number of players sit a stroke further back at six under after rounds of 66.
Richard Green fared best of the Australian contingent with a round of 67 placing him at five under and in a share of ninth position.