A fine first round of 65 saw David Horsey sitting one shot clear of the field after the opening day of the M2M Russian Open on Thursday.
The 29-year-old Englishman has two previous wins on the European Tour, with the last coming over three years ago in the Trophee Hassan II, and he started well to head the leaderboard at the Tseleevo Golf and Polo Club.
A birdie at the par-four first set the tone for Horsey's opening round, which contained no dropped shots, with another birdie on the eighth and five more following on his back nine.
His seven under-par round leaves him one shot clear of the Scottish duo Scott Jamieson and Peter Whiteford, with the former looking to build on a poor showing at the Open Championship last week.
Like Horsey, Jamieson's round contained no dropped shots with the highlight coming with an eagle at the par-five eighth.
There are eight golfers tied in fourth place, one shot shy of the Scottish pair and two behind Horsey.
Damien McGrane and Kevin Phelan head the Irish contingent on three under.
Former tennis star Yevgeny Kafelnikov racked up a biridie, six bogeys and three double-bogeys en route to a round of 83.