Shane Lowry called a shot on himself but still opened with a two under par 70 in the rain-delayed Lyoness Open in Austria.
The Offaly native was one under par with four holes to play when his ball moved fractionally as he addressed his second shot on the par-five sixth at Diamond Country Club in Atzenbrugg near Vienna.
A bogey six went down on the card but the 2009 Irish Open winner regrouped to birdie the seventh and ninth and finish the day six shots behind leader Pablo Larrazábal, who fired an eagle and six birdies in a superb 64.
“Solid start today,” Lowry tweeted. “Nice to bounce back with two birdies after having to penalise myself a shot on the sixth.”
He added: “I grounded my club on my second shot and the ball moved about four dimples. Quite disappointing but that’s the rules.”
Larrazábal, 29, carded four birdies and an eagle three at the long 13th to storm to six under in torrential rain before play was suspended for three hours and 40 minutes due to water-logging.
On the resumption, the former French Open champion picked up another two shots to set the pace in the clubhouse before Demanrk’s Thorbjorn Olesen - a brilliant ninth in the Open last week - birdied seven of his first 14 holes before bad light ended play to move to within one of the Spaniard.
French veteran Thomas Levet and Dutchman Wil Besseling are a shot further back on six under, with four and five holes remaining respectively.
However, the leading Irishman on the leaderboard was Waterville’s David Higgins, who started on the back nine and opened with three successive birdies before adding eight pars in a row to share 10th place on three under with seven holes to complete this morning.
Damien McGrane had five birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey in a one under 71 while Waterville’s Mark Murphy took advantage of a sponsor’s invitation to get to one under after 11 holes.
Simon Thornton bogeyed three of his last five in the worst of the weather for a one over 73 while Ballymena’s Chris Devlin, another sponsor’s invitee, had off course troubles.
The Florida based Ulsterman was two over after seven following six pars and a double bogey five at the fifth.
He had a good excuse, however, as he didn’t get to play a practice round with his clubs following a luggage handling problem with KLM.
“The good news is my clubs turned up, bad news is I’m 2 over thru 7,” he said on Twitter. “The fight back will begin at 7.30 in the morning. !”
Recently-crowned British Amateur champion Alan Dunbar shot a three over par 75.
As Waterville’s David Higgins completed a bogey-free five under par 67, Dane Thorbjørn Olesen joined overnight leader Pablo Larrazábal at the top of the leaderboard on the second morning of the Lyoness Open powered by Greenfinity.
Despite getting to bed around midnight and waking up at 5am in order to resume his first round, Olesen picked up where he left off with a birdie at the 17th hole to move to eight under par alongside Larrazábal, who posted a flawless round of 64 either side of the three hours and 40 minutes rain delay on day one.
It was a bad day for sponsor’s invites Mark Murphy and Chris Devlin.
Waterville’s Murphy came home on five over 41 for a four over 76 while Ballymena native Devlin posted an eight over 80 on a rare European Tour start.