Two weeks after struggling to break 90, Miguel Angel Jimenez carded a flawless 63 to claim the lead after the first round of the £4.5m Turkish Airlines Open.
Jimenez carded a final round of 88 in the first event of the Final Series, the BMW Masters, in Shanghai and also struggled in the following week's HSBC Champions event to be a total of 33 over par for his last eight rounds.
But the oldest winner in European Tour history - he will celebrate his 51st birthday in January - bounced back brilliantly in Antalya by holing his second shot to the opening hole for an eagle and adding seven birdies to lead Ian Poulter by a shot at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal.
Shane Lowry was seven strokes off the lead after an opening round of 70, but could not keep pace with Jimenez.
Darren Clarke was three over par following a 75 with Michael Hoey bringing up the rear of the field after a harrowing 82, which included four double-bogeys.
"It's a good start. It's nice making a low score, it's been a while," said Jimenez, who holed out from 105 yards on the 10th. "It's special because I've been struggling a little bit the last few months and [when] you shoot under par, you feel good.
"I like the golf course with the trees on it. It feels nice and you have everything, you have some long holes, you have some short holes and you have a mix. I feel comfortable on this golf course."
Poulter felt his second round of 67 last week was the best he had played in an injury-plagued year, but admitted after his 64: "I'd say that might just top it. It was good golf today.
"Teeing off on the 10th hole you have to make a quick start, knowing you've got some opportunities coming up before you've reached the stretch of five, six, seven, eight and nine, which you can slip up on.
"I took care of the par fives really nicely today, six under on the par fives, which is always a key to scoring well, especially when you've got five of them. You're going to have to do that well this week, play them well under par to have a chance to win."
Poulter changed equipment recently in a bid to halt his slide down the world rankings - he moved from 44th to 40th after finishing joint sixth in Shanghai - but reverted to an old putter in Turkey and produced an eagle, seven birdies and one bogey.
"I'm right there," he added. "Within the space of a couple of weeks, I feel really good about myself. I don't have any aches or pains, which is really nice. I feel strong and that means I can practice. And when I practice and start holing some putts, then I'm going to be full of confidence like I am right now."
Low scoring was the order of the day as 50 of the 78-strong field broke par, with England's Tyrrell Hatton, Australian Wade Ormsby and Zimbabwe's Brendon de Jonge all a shot behind Poulter on seven under.
But the three players attempting to prevent Rory McIlroy being crowned European number one for the second time in two years struggled to make an impression on the upper reaches of the leaderboard.
Sergio Garcia, Ryder Cup team-mate Jamie Donaldson and Germany's Marcel Siem can still overtake McIlroy at the top of the Race to Dubai, but only if they win both in Turkey and next week's season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
Siem's 70 was the best the trio could manage, although the BMW Masters winner was five under par after 12 holes, with Donaldson falling back from three under to level par and Garcia struggling to a 75.
Starting on the back nine, Garcia had made the ideal start with a birdie on the par-five 10th, but after a string of pars the Spaniard three-putted the 18th and also took six on the par-five first.
After a birdie on the second Garcia carded another six on the fourth and things went from bad to worse on the sixth, where the world number four found water off the tee and also lost a ball on his way to a triple-bogey seven.
That left Garcia 12 shots off the lead in joint 64th, with Colin Montgomerie - playing his 600th European Tour event on the course he designed - a shot worse off after a 76.
Tee times for Friday's second round have been brought forward by 90 minutes due to a forecast for thunderstorms in the area.