Tom Lewis threatened to shoot the first round of 59 – or better – in European Tour history on the first day of the Made in Denmark tournament.
The Englishman reached 12 under after 13 holes at the Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort in Farso on Thursday but three late bogeys denied him the chance of making history.
He had to settle for a course record-equalling 62 – nine under par – and a share of the lead with Thomas Pieters and Joakim Lagergren.
Welshman Bradley Dredge was a shot further back, with David Lipsky of the United States, South African Jake Roos and Scotland's Scott Jamieson on six under.
Paul Dunne led the Irish challenge after carding a three-under 68 to sit in a share of 22nd position, but Shane Lowry will need a big effort to make the cut after opening with a four-over 75.
With Europe Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke set to name his three wildcard picks next Tuesday, Lowry will have been looking to contend this week, but he now faces a battle to make the weekend action.
After starting on the 10th, Lowry carded four bogeys in five holes to turn in four-over 39 and made a fifth bogey on the first. He secured his only birdie of the day on the second as he signed for a four-over 75.
Lewis, who lost his tour card last season, was in blistering form from the outset. Starting on the 10th, he birdied his first four holes and picked up three more to turn in 28. Three more birdies followed in succession and then when he rolled in a 45-foot putt for eagle at the fourth, records were in reach.
But bogeys on the fifth, eighth and ninth cost him and he was left to rue missed opportunities.
Lewis said: “How many people can get disappointed with nine under? It’s a tough one but everyone call tell it was on there and unfortunately I came up just short. It was a good round today but a disappointing one.
“Unfortunately it just caught up with me a little bit. I hit some good putts, I hit some bad putts – a couple of good ones that missed, and a couple of bad ones that holed. Maybe I thought too much, or tried too hard, hence the finish.”
Pieters, playing alongside Clarke, seized the opportunity to impress. The big-hitting Belgian posted 10 birdies and just one bogey to continue his strong recent form following his fourth place at the Olympics and runner-up finish at last week’s D+D Real Czech Masters.
Pieters said: “I did all I could in front of Darren today. He has a lot on his mind other than golf and we will just have to wait and see. It’s up to Darren. If I do win this week, it might get him thinking, but I just have tomorrow to worry about.”
Lagergren posted his 62 early in the day, equalling the course record set by fellow Swede Kristoffer Broberg in the final round 12 months ago.