Cormac Sharvin blew away the field when he opened with a sensational seven under par 65 in the Challenge de España.
The former Walker Cup star from Ardglass (25) carded seven birdies to lead by two shots on a day when just 12 players broke 70 at Izki Golf in Urturi,
“It’s just like being back home, being back in Ireland,” said Sharvin after his lowest round since he fired a 64 to make it to the Final Stage of Q-School last year.
“It’s nearly like being an amateur again, and I just hope I can continue playing how I am. I think the greens are really nice, they’re a little bit quicker than last week.
“After the rain they’ve had, they were putting really nicely this afternoon – well, I managed to find the hole a few times today so I can’t complain!”
The temperature was just four degrees Celsius when the first groups began their rounds with wind swirling through the Urturi countryside.
Sunny spells and a slight rise in temperature gave the afternoon groups hope of shooting low and it was Sharvin who grasped the opportunity with both hands.
Starting on the tenth, he raced to the turn in three-under 33 before carding a birdie on the first hole to move to four under par.
After another birdie at the fifth, he birdied 522-yard par-five eighth before chipping in from the back of the ninth green to sign off with a two.
“I just think there’s a lot of chances out there if you play well and every time I hit a good shot I managed to convert,” he said. “That equated to a really good round.
“I hit seven birdies and no bogeys, which is quite a nice score out there considering it was pretty tricky at times. My putter was pretty hot and it was nice to chip in at the last.”
Poland’s Adrian Meronk signed for a 67 to sit two behind Sharvin on five under par before German Nicolai Von Dellingshausen, playing in the last group of the day, made four successive birdies on his back nine to join him.
Michael Hoey is tied 24th after a 71 with Ruaidhri McGee (72) tied 43rd, Conor O'Rourke (73) tied 63rd, Jonny Caldwell (74) 83rd and John Ross Galbraith (76) joint 112th.
Challenge de España, Izki Golf, Urturi, Spain (Par 72)
65 C Sharvin (Nir),
67 A Meronk (Pol), N Von Dellingshausen (Ger),
68 J Pastor (Esp),
69 E Goya (Arg), J Brun (Fra), C Braeunig (Ger), E Di Nitto (Ita), R Enoch (Wal), J Quesne (Fra), W Besseling (Ned), O Lengden (Swe),
70 P Barjon (Fra), P Erofejeff (Fin), R Van West (Ned), M Kim (Kor), N Geyger (Chi), J Sjöholm (Swe), M Gradecki (Pol), D Borda (Esp), P Angles (Esp), A Rozner (Fra), J Senior (Eng),
71 J Girrbach (Sui), M Hoey (Nir), M Galiano Aguilar (Esp), G Stal (Fra), F Laporta (Ita), D Boote (Wal), J Singh Brar (Eng), E Cuartero Blanco (Esp), R Santos (Por), T Linard (Fra), B Stow (Eng), C Mivis (Bel), C Feldborg Nielsen (Swe), N Lemke (Swe), B Virto (Esp), M Ford (Eng), P Howard (Eng), N Johansson (Swe), F Bergamaschi (Ita),
72 M Trappel (Aut), K Samooja (Fin), P Mejow (Ger), J Hansen (Den), R Langasque (Fra), D Berna Manzanares (Esp), P Maddy (Eng), V Perez (Fra), R McGee (Irl), B Eccles (Aus), R De Sousa (Sui), M Lampert (Ger), R McGowan (Eng), J Huldahl (Den), T Tree (Eng), R Sciot-Siegrist (Fra), S Henry (Sco), R Roussel (Fra), N Møller (Den), S Khan (Eng),
73 A Knappe (Ger), D Law (Sco), L Nemecz (Aut), J Adams (Eng), K Johannessen (Nor), R McEvoy (Eng), J Doherty (Sco), M Iten (Sui), C O'Rourke (Irl), J Carlota (Por), K Hesbois (Bel), A Garcia-Heredia (Esp), S Garcia Rodriguez (Esp), R Davies (Wal), S Tarrio Ben (Esp), J Rutherford (Eng), A Arnaus (Esp), B Hellgren (Swe), M Lundberg (Swe), X Gorospe (am) (Esp),
74 J Sarasti (Esp), E España (Fra), A Tadini (Ita), F Aguilar (Chi), H Leon (Chi), J Maw (Eng), J McDonald (Sco), M Haastrup (Den), J Caldwell (Nir), M Fenasse (Fra), T Santos Silva (Por), J Davidson (Wal), S Manley (Wal), Å Nilsson (Swe),
75 J Lando Casanova (Fra), P Valasek (Svk), B Karatas (Tur), B Parker (Eng), S Dyson (Eng), A Boasson (Isl), D Huizing (Ned), V Østerby (Den), H Joannes (Bel), A Plant (Eng), N Marsh (Eng), V Riu (Fra), S Gregory (Eng), B Hafthorsson (Isl), J Van Der Vaart (Ned),
76 D Stewart (Sco), B Evans (Eng), J Galbraith (Nir), G Migliozzi (Ita), G King (Eng), A Wennstam (Swe), C Doak (Sco), D Foos (Ger), R Hjelm (Den), M Ludwig (Aut), I Cantero Gutierrez (Esp), P Figueiredo (Por), K Koivu (Fin), J Segurola (Esp), Ó Serna (Mex), C Koerbler (Aut), J Hilleard (Eng), E De La Riva (Esp), J Sainz (Esp), C Del Moral (Esp),
77 M Søgaard (Den), E Ferguson (Sco), S Matus (Cze), A Velasco (Esp), B Ritthammer (Ger), D Perrier (Fra), F Maccario (Ita), J Marin (Esp), T Murray (Eng), L Van Meijel (Ned), A Altuntas (Tur),
78 A Chapman (Eng), J Munro (Aus), O Stark (Swe), M Ovesen (Den), J Carlsson (Swe), U Coussaud (Fra), K McClatchie (RSA),
79 J Arnoy (Nor), D Van Driel (Ned), L Robinson (Eng), S Einhaus (Ger),
80 M Schmitt (Ger), J Cafourek (Cze),
84 L Ruuska (Fin).