Could there be light at the end of what's been a long, dark tunnel for Peter Lawrie? The answer would appear to be 'yes' after the Dubliner made it back-to-back sub par rounds for the first time since last September's Alfred Dunhill Links when he opened with a four under 68 in The Championship at Laguna National.
Having missed his last 11 cuts and 17 of the last 18, the 40-year old former Rookie of the Year may finally be poised to end a nightmare run in Singapore following his first sub-70 round in seven months.
Tied for 26th, five shots behind clubhouse leader Panuphol Pittayarat of Thailand, Lawrie started on the back nine and turned in level with one birdie and one bogey on his card.
But despite hitting just six of 14 fairways, his bugbear for the last 12 months, he missed just four greens and had just 28 putts as he picked up four birdies in a homeward nine of 32.
An early morning lightning delay of one-hour means the first round will not be completed until Friday morning with 18 players still to finish.
But that won't bother Lawrie, who had to make the cut in the final event of the 2013 season in Perth just to keep his tour card.
Since then it's been one bad week after another but after closing with a two under 70 in missing his 11th straight cut in the Volvo China Open last week, the tide may be turning for affable world No 428.
Damien McGrane dropped three shots late in his round to post a one under 71 that was matched by Gareth Maybin, leaving them tied for 85th with Simon Thornton finishing with two birdies for a 72 and a provisional share of 118th.
At the top of the leaderboard, Pittayarat shot a nine under 64 to lead by one stroke from Scott Jamieson, American David Lipsky, Korea’s Byung-jun Kim and Singapore’s Quincy Quek.
Sweden’s Kristoffer Broberg and Chilean Filipe Aguilar are a further shot back on seven under par alongside Sri Lanka’s Mithun Perera and Thailand’s Arnond Vongvanij, who had been tied for the lead until a double bogey five on the eight meant he slipped back into a tie for sixth.
Alexander Levy, winner of last week’s Volvo China Open and the European Tour Golfer of the Month for April, recovered from a triple bogey seven on his fourth hole to post a two under par 70.
“It was a good day out there," Pittayarat said. "The weather is good and I holed a lot of putts. I gave myself a lot of chances to score. I am very happy with how I played today.
"I didn’t see it coming, but it did come. I’m feeling good about my game right now. I was just trying to hit it straight out there. I managed to hole a lot of putts and a lot of them were unexpected.”
Leading clubhouse round one scores
63 P Pittayarat (THA)
64 S Jamieson (SCO), D Lipsky (USA), BJ Kim (KOR), Q Quek (SIN),
65 M Perera (SRI), K Broberg (SWE), F Aguilar (CHI), A Vongvanij (THA),
66 R Cabrera-Bello (ESP), P Meesawat (THA), SH Baek (KOR), S Barr (AUS), KJ Moon (Korea), G Bourdy (FRA)
68 Peter Lawrie
71 Damien McGrane, Gareth Maybin
72 Simon Thornton