Ian Poulter shot a six-under 65 to stroke lead after the first round at the JBWere Masters on Thursday.
Ashley Hall carded a five-under 66 at the Victoria Golf Course and former champion Peter Lonard was among a group of six two shots back. Rod Pampling (68) and Richard Green share ninth place at minus-three.
World No. 1 Luke Donald, who earlier in the week was named PGA Tour Player of the Year, opened with a two-under 69. Donald recently became the first player in history to win the money title on both the PGA and European Tours.
Donald, who fired two birdies in a bogey-free round, is tied for 11th in a group of 10 players that includes Greg Chalmers, who is going for the Aussie triple crown after capturing the Australian Open and Australian PGA Championship.