Tommy Fleetwood continued his impressive form at the British Masters, but Ryder Cup team-mate Francesco Molinari found the going a little tougher at Walton Heath on Thursday.
After finishing in a share of second place at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last week, Fleetwood fired an opening 67 to sit in a three-way tie for the lead.
The Englishman had just one bogey in his first round to share top spot with compatriots Eddie Pepperell – who cashed in for charity with a stunning hole-in-one – and Matt Wallace on five under.
Fleetwood's only blemish came at the 17th after his wayward tee shot ended up in an empty cup holder of a course official's buggy. He was unable to get up and down to save par despite receiving a free drop, though a birdie at the last quickly made amends.
"It wasn't my finest approach shot to a par-three, but that was something different for sure," he told Sky Sports about his drive at the 17th.
"Luckily it didn't go in the beer [in the buggy] because it would have ruined a drink and the golf ball. But bogey there is fine. It's not something you get too angry about around here today."
Molinari failed to match Fleetwood's standards as the Ryder Cup duo were reunited following their heroics for Europe at Le Golf National, the Italian finishing six shots off the pace after signing for a 73.
then then pic.twitter.com/A9gB4Adgjl— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) October 11, 2018
Joint-leader Pepperell produced the moment of the day, sinking an astonishing ace as his tee shot at the par-three ninth struck the flag on the full before spinning back into the cup.
He followed up with a more conventional eagle at the par-five 11th and despite dropping shots at the 13th and 15th, a birdie at the penultimate hole capped an eventful day for the 27-year-old, who earned £20,000 for charity with his hole-in-one.
Richard McEvoy, Mike Lorenzo-Vera, Joakim Lagergren, David Lipsky and Alexander Levy – still with a hole to play – sit on four under, while a 12-man group that includes Trevor Immelman and Robert Karlsson are a further shot back of the leading trio.
As for tournament host Justin Rose, the Englishman endured a run of four successive bogeys during a see-saw day that saw him eventually card a two-over 74.
"I had a good chance to make four birdies in a row but missed that and just gave away too many cheap bogeys," Rose – who had to cancel his pre-tournament media commitments on Wednesday due to illness – told Sky Sports.
|Garcia dazzles to hit the front at shortened Valderrama Masters|
|Cardiff City 4 Fulham 2: Paterson gets Bluebirds off the mark|
|Newcastle United 0 Brighton and Hove Albion 1: Benitez´s men bottom after dismal defeat|
|West Ham 0 Tottenham 1: In-form Lamela settles London derby|
|Manchester City 5 Burnley 0: De Bruyne returns in comfortable win|
|Wolves 0 Watford 2: Capoue and Pereyra turn form book on its head|
|Bournemouth 0 Southampton 0: Howe´s side stifled by Saints|
|Prove you´re crazy about Inter - Spalletti rallies players ahead of Milan derby|
|Wolfsburg 1 Bayern Munich 3: Lewandowski leads Kovac out of trouble|
|Goerges betters Bencic to clinch Luxembourg title|
|Morgan wants more from ´rusty´ England despite series win|
|Sarri says sorry after touchline bust-up overshadows Chelsea´s late escape|
|Chelsea draw an ´awful´ result for excellent United, says Mourinho|
|The Chelsea assistant that angered Mourinho - Who is Marco Ianni?|
|Steve Kerr supports Colin Kaepernick: ´I think he deserves a chance to play´|
|Lopetegui ´more motivated than ever´ amid Real Madrid sack reports|
|That´s football – Rudiger shrugs off late Ianni-Mourinho fracas|
|AC Milan´s improved mentality could be difference against Inter - Gattuso|
|Emotional Kasatkina comes back from the brink to win Kremlin Cup|
|Forget it, it´s over - Mourinho accepts apology over touchline row|
|Mourinho in furious bust-up with Chelsea staff after late equaliser|
|Chelsea 2 Manchester United 2: Barkley strike denies Mourinho|
|Raptors star Kawhi Leonard: Too early for MVP chants|
|WTA Finals 2018: Profiling the ´elite eight´|
|Cipriani sent off and facing ban for high tackle|
|Real Madrid 1 Levante 2: Lopetegui on the brink as abysmal run continues|
|Warriors coach Kerr: Jerebko ´one of us´ after game-winning tip-in|
|Real Madrid break record for longest goalless run|
|England wrap up ODI series in Kandy rain|
|Melbourne Victory 1 Melbourne City 2: Honda scores but suffers losing start|
|Mata starts for United as Chelsea boss Sarri selects Morata|
|Dovizioso prepared for another Marquez duel|
|Isco returns as Bale makes the bench for Real Madrid|
|Maddison feeling at home with Puel´s Foxes|
|Ruthless Australia beat Tonga in historic Test|
|Pep talks helped Mendy make the most of his time out of action|
|Wantaway Butler revels in boos|
|Emery: Arsenal must be calm with returning Koscielny|
|Sevilla don´t fear Messi or Barca – Kjaer|
|Conte, Zidane and the AC Milan contenders clouding Gattuso´s future|
|Koepka in control in South Korea, on track to become world number one|
|Dovizioso grabs pole at Motegi, Marquez sixth|
|Langer backs Marsh for ODI squad|
|Butler turns boos to MVP chants in Timberwolves´ first win|
|Brewers force game seven against Dodgers in NLCS|
|Guardiola admits Hart decision may have been a mistake|
|Vieira: Balotelli the same now as he was at 16|
|Butragueno backs under-fire Lopetegui|
|Liverpool´s defensive improvement has hurt attack – Klopp|
|Butler booed by Timberwolves fans during introductions|
|Pochettino: Dier´s Ramos tackle highlighted Spurs´ attitude|
|Man City working on new deal for Sane – Guardiola|
|Golden Knights sign RW Tuch to seven-year extension|
|Bryant explains how Lakers could beat Warriors|
|Finals hopefuls Isner, Fognini into Stockholm semis|
|Browns trade running back Hyde to Jaguars|
|Mourinho: I´d love to have Hazard at Manchester United|
|Hamilton´s title chances enhanced by Vettel´s grid penalty|
|Deja vu for Enisei as La Rochelle inflict another thrashing|
|Five-star Jovic makes Bundesliga history|
|Liverpool´s scoring slump no concern for cautious Klopp|
|He´s the Special One - Sarri insists he is not on Mourinho´s level yet|
|Second-half blitz guides Leicester to European success|
|Sheffield Wednesday 1 Middlesbrough 2: Besic, Assombalonga see off Owls|
|Goerges rallies to reach Luxembourg Open final, Jabeur makes history|
|Howe: Transfer speculation will not disrupt Ake|
|´Do we really want opera every night?´ - Klopp not changing Nations League view|
|Vile and abhorrent – Chelsea´s Carney responds to online abuse|
|Giants WR Beckham Jr. explains why he might cramp up: ´I really don´t like water´|
|Man City pay training-pitch tribute to Joe Hart|