Paul Dunne and Michael Hoey both made strong starts to the Made In Denmark event on Thursday, both opening up with rounds of three -under 68 to lie two shots off a busy leaderboard.
Dunne has had a lean time of late on the European Tour but a fine first nine holes after he started from the 10th saw him reach the turn in four-under 68, with a hat-trick of birdies coming from the 14th hole.
Dunne made the first of two bogeys on third hole, and would add a further birdie and a bogey in his 68.
Hoey included a double-bogey and an eagle, as well as three birdies, after also starting from the 10th and he joined Dunne in a tie for 11th spot on three under.
Gavin Moynihan also made it to three under after three birdies on the back nine, but he endured a horrible homeward run, making three straight bogeys from the first hole to move back to level par. A double-bogey on the par-five fifth and a bogey on the seventh saw him sign for a three-over 74.
Five players shared the lead on five under par, the English trio of Paul Waring, Matthew Southgate and Tom Murray, Spain's Alejandro Canizares and Italy's Edoardo Molinari all carding rounds of 66.
Defending champion Matt Wallace is just one shot off the lead after the first round of the , despite feeling "jaded" by his recent exploits.
Wallace finished second in the British Masters a fortnight ago and within a few hours was on his way to New York for the US PGA Championship at Bethpage, where he finished in a tie for third behind Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson.
The 29-year-old Londoner had no time to celebrate his best result in a Major championship as he flew straight to Denmark to defend the third European Tour title he won in 2018, but showed no ill effects with an opening 67 at Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort.
“Three different ways of playing but all three we’ve had a lot of wind so getting out there relatively early was nice, to get four birdies on my front nine to start the tournament was good,” Wallace said.
“I’m a little bit jaded so might take this afternoon off but we’re in good shape.”
Less than four years ago Wallace was finishing fifth in a tournament on the Alps Tour to climb to 1,672 in the world rankings, but the following year won six times on the same circuit and has recorded four European Tour victories in the last two seasons.
His performance at Bethpage lifted him to a career-high 25th in the world rankings and Wallace added: “It’s going in the right direction. I’m working hard for it, it’s not like it’s just come randomly.
“There’s more bits that I want to work on, there’s bits I want to improve at. There’s a long way to go for the rest of the year and I haven’t won yet so it’s important to me to try and get that and try and do that this week.”
Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre, who finished runner-up at the British Masters alongside Wallace, also lies a shot off the lead after a 67.
(British and irish unless stated, par 71, (a) denotes amateur):
66 Tom Murray, Paul Waring, Alejandro Canizares (Esp), Matthew Southgate, Edoardo Molinari (Ita)
67 Matt Wallace, Robert Macintyre, Joakim Lagergren (Swe), Pelle Edberg (Swe), John Catlin (USA), Benjamin Hebert (Fra)
68 Andrew Johnston, Oliver Wilson, Alexander Bjork (Swe), Oliver Fisher, Pablo Larrazabal (Esp), Kristian Krogh Johannessen (Nor), Max Schmitt (Ger), Paul Dunne, Louis De Jager (Rsa), Bernd Wiesberger (Aut), Michael Hoey, Espen Kofstad (Nor), Chris Paisley, Matthias Schwab (Aut), Victor Dubuisson (Fra), David Drysdale, Sam Horsfield, Nino Bertasio (Ita)
69 Kristoffer Reitan (Nor), Niklas Lemke (Swe), Haydn Porteous (Rsa), David Horsey, Stuart Manley, George Coetzee (Rsa), Romain Langasque (Fra), James Morrison, Jason Scrivener (Aus), Lucas Herbert (Aus), Marc Warren, Jeunghun Wang (Kor), Mathias Gladbjerg (Den), Austin Connelly (Can), Nicolai Hojgaard (a) (Den), Justin Walters (Rsa), Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa)
70 Anders Hansen (Den), Grant Forrest, Scott Jamieson, Kim Koivu (Fin), Adrien Saddier (Fra), Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin), Dean Burmester (Rsa), Robert Rock, Sebastian Soderberg (Swe), Yusaku Miyazato (Jpn), Lee Westwood, SSP Chawrasia (Ind), Christofer Blomstrand (Swe), Matthieu Pavon (Fra), Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel), Guido Migliozzi (Esp), Darren Fichardt (Rsa), Lee Slattery, Alvaro Quiros (Esp), Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind), Max Orrin, Thomas Pieters (Bel)
71 Nicolai Kristensen (Den), Lucas Bjerregaard (Den), Anton Karlsson (Swe), Matthew Nixon, Clement Sordet (Fra), Jaco Van Zyl (Rsa), Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Esp), Rikard Karlberg (Swe), Thongchai Jaidee (Tha), Jin-ho Choi (Kor), Martin Simonsen (Den), Thorbjorn Olesen (Den), Jamie Donaldson, Wade Ormsby (Aus), Joel Girrbach (Swi), Adrian Otaegui (Esp), Alexander Levy (Fra)
72 Marcus Kinhult (Swe), Lasse Jensen (Den), Jack Singh Brar, Ashun Wu (Chn), Morten Orum Madsen (Den), Jacques Kruyswijk (Rsa), Joachim B. Hansen (Den), Thomas Detry (Bel), Nacho Elvira (Esp), Adri Arnaus (Esp), Kurt Kitayama (USA), Richie Ramsay, Elias Bertheussen (Nor), Callum Shinkwin, Richard McEvoy, Zander Lombard (Rsa), Shubhankar Sharma (Ind), Stephen Gallacher, Bernd Ritthammer (Ger), Dimitrios Papadatos (Aus), Jens Dantorp (Swe)
73 Steven Brown, Maximilian Kieffer (Ger), Filippo Bergamaschi (Ita), Ivan Cantero Gutierrez (Esp), Robert Karlsson (Swe), Jeff Winther (Den), Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn), Hugo Leon (USA), Kalle Samooja (Fin), David Howell, Ashley Chesters, Nick Cullen (Aus), Liam Johnston, Andy Sullivan, Romain Wattel (Fra), Victor Perez (Fra)
74 David Law, Soren Kjeldsen (Den), Daniel Gaunt (Aus), Ryan Fox (Nzl), Christian Gloet (Den), Aaron Rai, Gavin Moynihan, Adam Bland (Aus), Scott Hend (Aus), Andrea Pavan (Ita), Per Langfors (Swe), Jack Senior, Jordan Smith, Lorenzo Gagli (Ita), Sean Crocker (USA)
75 Ben Evans, Deyen Lawson (Aus), (a) Oliver Jorgensen (Den), Pedro Figueiredo (Por), Jorge Campillo (Esp), Raphael Jacquelin (Fra)
76 Sihwan Kim (Kor), Jeppe Huldahl (Den), Nicolai Tinning (Den), Jake McLeod (Aus), Gavin Green (Mal), Renato Paratore (Ita), Bradley Dredge
77 Ricardo Gouveia (Por), David Borda (Esp)
78 Gudmundur Kristjansson (Swe)
79 Daniel Gavins