Marcus Fraser and Fabrizio Zanotti both fired rounds of 8-under 64 on Thursday to share the first-round lead of the BMW International Open.
Danny Willett, Chris Wood and Paul McGinley each shot 7-under 65s and are tied for third at Golf Club Gut Larchenhof.
The German contingent was led by former world No. 1 and 2010 PGA Champion Martin Kaymer, who managed only a 1-under 71 on Thursday after a long flight back from Olympic Club, the site of last week's U.S. Open.
"I only slept two hours last night," said Kaymer, who tied for 15th at the U.S. Open. "I made only two birdies, which is not a lot on this course. I didn't drive the ball very well."
The other German star in the field is Hall of Famer Bernhard Langer. The two- time Masters champion put together an even-par round of 72 on Thursday.
Fraser, an Australian with two European Tour victories, started well with two birdies in his first three holes. He added another front-nine birdie at the par-3 seventh.
Fraser parred his first three on the back side, then caught fire. He birdied five of his last six holes, including a 20-footer at the last, to get into the clubhouse at 8-under.
"It's great," said Fraser. "I played really well - drove the ball really straight, only missed one fairway. Any time you do that, you're going to give yourself plenty of chances. The greens were nice this morning and I managed to make a few putts and especially a few at the end, which was great."
Fraser has three top 10s in 2012 and believes he's close to a return trip to the winner's circle.
"Towards the end of last year it felt like everything took a turn for the better and I was heading in the right direction," he added. "So if you keep giving yourself a chance you never know when it might happen, I just have to keep practicing and playing hard and hopefully it will happen sooner rather than later."
Zanotti started on the 10th tee Thursday and enjoyed an up-and-down round.
He birdied the 11th, eagled No. 13, birdied 14 and kicked in a 3-foot eagle putt at the 16th. Zanotti was 6-under through seven holes, but disaster struck with a double bogey at 18.
The native of Paraguay birdied three of his first five holes on the second nine and got to 7-under par. Zanotti bogeyed the par-5 sixth, but back-to-back birdies at eight and nine tied him with Fraser for the lead.
"I played very well and made good putts," said Zanotti, who is winless on the European Tour. "I only had hit one bad shot and made the double bogey, but I played really good. I'm very happy because when I made the double, I made the birdies again. So I kept fighting and concentrating and I kept calm.
"Tomorrow I'll just try to play like I did today, come and play the course shot by shot and see what happens."
Shiv Kapur, Keith Horne, Gregory Havret and Pelle Edberg are knotted in sixth at 6-under 66.
Stephen Gallacher, Joel Sjoholm, Thomas Norret, Soren Kjeldsen, Oscar Floren and Richard Green are tied for 10th at minus-5.
NOTES: John Daly and Miguel Angel Jimenez headline a group at 4-under 68...Defending champion Pablo Larrazabal, Colin Montgomerie and newly turned professional Dylan Frittelli are part of a tie for 29th at 3-under 69...Sergio Garcia shot a 1-under 71...Jose Manuel Lara was disqualified on Thursday.