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.
|Guardiola wants Manchester City fans to push team to Champions League glory|
|Isco not interested in departed Ronaldo - he didn´t want to be here|
|World Series 2018: Three storylines to watch in Red Sox-Dodgers|
|Neymar focus bad for football - PSG´s Maxwell|
|BREAKING NEWS: Marco Ianni charged by FA over Jose Mourinho touchline row|
|Stephens sees off Osaka in see-saw Singapore battle|
|I´m happy at Manchester United - Mourinho dismisses Real Madrid reports|
|Semenya and Asher-Smith head IAAF Female World Athlete of the Year shortlist|
|Mandzukic to miss Manchester United trip|
|I turned down Manchester United to return to Juventus - Bonucci|
|Sanchez out of Manchester United´s clash with Juventus|
|Australia make Short work of run chase in T20 win|
|Brotherly g-love! Tommy Fury follows Tyson into the pros|
|Ozil´s international retirement can help Arsenal - Emery|
|If you sack Lopetegui, you have to sack us all – Isco|
|Lopetegui defiant amid Real Madrid sack reports|
|Sri Lanka spinner Herath to retire after Galle Test|
|Ronaldo returns for Old Trafford welcome amid disquieting noise|
|Garcia claims third Andalucia Valderrama Masters title|
|Ex-England international Waldrom retires|
|´Massive personality´ Hart can lift Burnley, says Kompany|
|Liverpool felt wrath of ´emotional´ Klopp, says Shaqiri|
|Reid: Jenkins capitalised on Kaepernick movement|
|Manchester United v Juventus: Ronaldo out to end dismal scoring record against Mourinho|
|Injured Ribery to miss Bayern´s clash with AEK|
|Wilshere would have stayed at Arsenal under Wenger|
|Mahomes stars again as Chiefs crush Bengals|
|Bolt must accept ´much less´ to join Mariners, says A-League chief|
|Klopp compares Liverpool to dog without favourite toy|
|Young leads Hawks to first win, Thunder fall in Westbrook´s return|
|Spalletti hits out at physical Milan – I had three players asking to be replaced|
|Cowboys, Ravens lose after missed kicks in final seconds|
|Hernangomez secures Nuggets´ win over Warriors with last-second block|
|Hasler returns to Manly on three-year deal|
|Sarri: Chelsea fans must respect Mourinho|
|Ronaldo learnt from Scholes – Pjanic praises Juventus star|
|CA dismisses spot-fixing claims|
|WATCH: Will Ferrell leads chants with LAFC fans|
|MLS Review: Galaxy on track for play-offs as Timbers, DC clinch spots|
|Elliott secures win at Hollywood Casino 400|
|Thunder´s Westbrook makes season debut against Kings|
|Saints beat Ravens after Tucker misses extra point|
|Rondo, Paul and Ingram banned after Lakers-Rockets fight|
|Saints QB Brees reaches another historic milestone|
|Biglia: VAR should have checked Nainggolan tackle|
|Gattuso not blaming Donnarumma for derby defeat|
|Seventh in Mexico will secure Hamilton´s fifth world title|
|Rooney fires DC United into MLS play-offs|
|Alonso slams ´amateur´ F1 rivals after latest crash|
|Spalletti fears lengthy Nainggolan absence|
|To the Max! Verstappen destroyed shoe fending off Hamilton|
|Icardi delight after Donnarumma error gives him another derby winner for Inter|
|Guardiola: Versatility the key for Stones|
|Vettel frustrated as mistakes continue to hamper title challenge|
|ECB refutes spot-fixing claims against England players|
|I thought we would do better - Hamilton queries Mercedes strategy|
|Inter 1 AC Milan 0: Icardi settles derby with dramatic late winner|
|Hamilton denied title party as Raikkonen wins in Austin|
|Patriots RB Michel out against Bears with gruesome knee injury|
|Kohli hails Rohit partnership after comprehensive India victory|
|Silva downplays his role after Everton super subs seal victory|
|Injured Bairstow out of final white-ball matches in Sri Lanka|
|Pliskova feeling confident after impressive start in Singapore|
|Big-hitting Imrul rescues Bangladesh in opening ODI|
|Leinster suffer late defeat at Toulouse, Newcastle snatch dramatic victory|
|Chargers pip Titans to dramatic London win|
|Everton 2 Crystal Palace 0: Substitutes Calvert-Lewin and Tosun clip Eagles´ wings|
|Thunderstorms push Andalucia Valderrama Masters into reserve day|
|Edmund masters Monfils to claim maiden singles title|
|Kohli and Rohit fire India to comprehensive ODI win|