Wu Ashun fired a bogey-free 64 to lead the way at the KLM Open but England's Chris Wood was just one shot behind him after day one in Holland.
Wood had set the target at six under in the morning with a blemish-free effort of his own but Wu made seven birdies in the afternoon to hit the front, with 13 players then in the group at five under.
Bristolian Wood made the European Ryder Cup team in 2016 thanks to a win at the BMW PGA Championship but that was his last victory having finished twice so far this season in Oman and France.
Ryder Cup vice captains Padraig Harrington and Lee Westwood both begun with three-under-par rounds of 68.
Paul Dunne carded a round of 70.
The 30-year-old made birdies on the 13th, 14th, 15th, third, seventh and ninth, and was delighted with his putting performance.
"It was perfect out there this morning," he told europeantour.com "The course is in such good condition and the greens are as good as any that we have played all year.
"When that is one of the best parts of your game it is great, especially when you get your eye in and knock a few in like I did today."
Wu is a two-time winner on the European Tour and he made gains on the 12th, 13th, 14th, 16th, 18th, fourth and eighth.
Englishmen Ashley Chesters, Eddie Pepperell, Aaron Rai, Jordan Smith and Matthew