English duo Matt Fitzpatrick and Sam Hutsby, along with Swede Pelle Edberg, set the early pace on the opening morning of the Czech Masters.
All three carded six-under 66s to set the clubhouse lead one ahead of a group which included Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey.
Hutsby, starting at the 10th, got off to a flier with three successive birdies - a feat matched by Edberg, playing the Albatross Golf Resort the right way around, and after another at 17 he finished off his round by picking up shots at his last two holes.
Simon Thornton and Damien McGrane are on three-under, with Kevin Phelan and Damien McGrane another shot further back.
Fitzpatrick opened with two birdies on his way to matching Hutsby’s back-nine score of 32.
“I’ve really struggled in my first rounds this year, so I thought it would be nice to have an under-par round and take the pressure off making the cut,” Portsmouth-born Hutsby said.
“I think I’ve done that pretty well and I will set my sights a bit higher this week.
“It has been a really tough year. I’ve missed so many cuts by one or two shots, which has been pretty costly. It will give me a confidence boost, a round like that.”
Former US Amateur champion Fitzpatrick felt his score could have been even better.
“I played really nicely to start with and was fairly consistent but I didn’t really hole any putts though,” he told europeantour.com.
“I could have been more under par. It was almost a bit frustrating.
“I’m delighted to come in six under but I missed a few chances on the last six holes.
“It means a lot that people are talking about me as one of the favourites to win.
“It’s something I never thought I’d have in my first year out here (on tour). It’s something you dream about growing up.
“You watch TV and you want to be the guy winning and challenging all the time. It’s what you want and it means a lot to me.