Perthshire, Scotland – Bernd Wiesberger and Ricardo Gonzalez carded matching 7-under 65s on Thursday to share the lead at the end of the first round of the Johnnie Walker Championship.
Wiesberger is looking for his first win of the season after collecting a pair of victories in 2012, while Gonzalez has not recorded a win since the 2009 SAS Masters.
"I came here with the feeling that I like the golf course, I like the weather, playing in these colder conditions, I think it suits me," stated Wiesberger. "I'm very relaxed; had last week off, so quite fresh into this tournament and that helped me."
Brett Rumford, who earned back-to-back wins at the Ballantine's Championship and China Open in April, is among a group of six players tied for third place on the PGA Centenary Course at The Gleneagles Hotel at 6-under 66.
Rumford is joined by Ignacio Garrido, Oliver Fisher, Ross Fisher, Mark Foster and Thongchai Jaidee.
Former Johnnie Walker winner Gregory Havret is one of five players tied for ninth at 5-under 67.
Wiesberger started on the 11th hole and opened his round with a birdie. He added gains at the 14th and 17th to reach 3-under.
After rolling in another birdie at the third, the Austrian followed four straight pars with three consecutive birdies from the eighth to head to the top of the leaderboard and grab the early clubhouse lead.
"I didn't make a lot of mistakes," said Wiesberger. "I had troubles the last couple weeks driving the ball, and coming off major championships where you have to be very precise off the tee, I felt I had a bit more margin of error here."
Gonzalez went out later with the afternoon wave and also started on the 11th tee, where he tripped to an opening bogey.
But he bounced right back with a birdie at the 12th and added another birdie at the 14th before reeling off three straight gains from the 16th to reach 4- under.
A bogey at the first briefly halted his momentum, but he quickly recovered again with a 10-foot eagle putt at the second.
Gonzalez then recorded gains at the fifth and eighth to meet Wiesberger at minus-7, and closed with a pair of pars to end there.
"I played very good from the tee, made some good putts, and that's why it's a good score," Gonzalez said. "I like the course."
Oliver Fisher had earlier grabbed a share of the lead with seven birdies over his first 13 holes, but a bogey at the sixth dropped him a shot off the pace.
He again could not hang on to a share of the lead when he countered a birdie at the eighth with a bogey at the 10th.
NOTES: Scott Hend recorded a hole-in-one at the 17th ... Havret won this event in 2008 ... Defending champion Paul Lawrie shot a 2-under 70 during his opening round and sits in a tie for 40th place ... The PGA Centenary Course at The Gleneagles Hotel will host the 2014 Ryder Cup.