Former Aussie cricketer Aaron Pike knocked a host of professional stars for six to grab the lead in the MasterCard Masters in Melbourne.

The burly amateur ace, 21, traded willow for titanium to fire a sensational course record equalling 64 and set the first round pace in the co-sanctioned event at Huntingdale.

Pike's eight under par round was the best performance by an amateur on the European Tour for three years and enough for a slender one-stroke lead over fellow Aussie Peter Wilson and England's Nick Dougherty.

But it was a nightmare day for Irish trio Gary Murphy, Damien McGrane and Peter Lawrie who have work to do to survive the cut.

Pike was a serious cricketer until the age of 16 and only played golf once a week until his win in last year's Queensland Amateur Championship prompted him to take the game seriously.

A qualifier for this week's event, the young Aussie eagled his opening hole and picked up two more strokes before finishing with four birdies in a row to equal Nick O'Hern's year old course record.

Pike said: "Obviously I am delighted with my start but if you shoot 64 in the first round, realistically you can shoot it every day.

"I am not going to change anything or expect myself to win because I've got a 64. But we’ll see what happens.”

Murphy bounced back from a slow start to lead a disappointing Irish contingent.

The Kilkenny man went to the turn in three over par 39 but hit back with two birdies and just one error to get round in two over par 74.

While Murphy is just one shot outside the top 60 and ties who will make the cut, Peter Lawrie and Damien McGrane have it all to do to survive.

Lawrie went out in level par but dropped five shots in the last five holes and took 35 putts in a 77 that featured a double bogey seven at the 14th, followed by bogeys at the 15th, 16th and 18th.

McGrane went just one shot better with a 76, finishing with back to back bogeys.

Dougherty's seven underpar 65 saw him finish level with local journeyman Wilson and one clear of Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin in an event co-sanctioned by the European and Australasian Tours.

But compatriot Justin Rose - six under with three to play - bogeyed the last three holes for a 69 that left him five adrift of Pike in joint 11th place.

Like Rose, world No 15 Paul Casey would have expected something better than his one under 71 while pre-tournament favourite Stuart Appleby fell 11 shots off the pace after a 75.