Teenager Rory McIlroy opened with a one under par 71 to trail leader Kane Streat by three shots in The Dunes Medal near Melbourne.
The Holywood ace, who missed the cut in the Australian Open last week, is keeping his game sharp Down Under over the winter.
Amateur McIlroy, 16, has received a sponsor's invite to rub shoulders with the pros in the IMG run Mastercard Masters at Huntingdale next week.
The €780,000 event features the cream of Australian stars including Robert Allenby, Adam Scott, Stuart Appleby and Peter Lonard.
Walker Cup star Oliver Fisher, former Ryder Cup skipper Sam Torrance and China Open winner Paul Casey are also entered.
The Dunes Medal (Rd1)
68 Kane Streat
69 Oliver Fisher (Eng), Won Joon Lee, Scott Hunter
70 Rick Kulacz, Louis Fuller
71 Rory McIlroy (NIr), Ray Beaufils
72 Ashley Hall, Ashley Umbers, Brenton Haines, James McMillan, Jason Day.