It was a struggle for defending champion Graeme McDowell but Seamus Power scrambled well and hit lots of fairways at the tight El Camaleon Golf Club in Playa del Carmen to open with a three under 68 in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.
The West Waterford rookie, 110th in the FedEx Cup standings after the first three events of the 2016-17 campaign, was tied for 20th, five shots behind Chris Kirk, whose 63 gave him a one shot lead over Colombia's Camilo Villegas, Ben Crane and Gary Woodland.
US Open champion Webb Simpson, fellow American Aaron Wise, Scott Piercy, Kevin Streelman, Nicholas Lindheim and Abraham Ancer were tied fifth after 65s. But McDowell made just one birdie against five bogeys in a four over 75 that hinted at a lack of sharpness around the greens,
While Power got up and down five times out of six (83.3%) for par and made four birdies to boot for his 68, McDowell scrambled just three times out of eight (37.5%) with his lone birdie coming at the par-three fourth.