An eagle putt from around one hundred feet helped Graeme McDowell into a share of fourth place after the first round of the BMW Masters in Shanghai.
McDowell carded a two-under par round of 70 which included the monster eagle putt on the 13th hole, to lie five shots behind leader Luke Guthrie.
Rory McIlroy took a six at the par five 13th and finished on one under par, hitting four birdies and three bogeys.
Padraig Harrington finished on level par with Paul McGinley five over.
McIlroy made a good start to his round and was two-under par after the opening nine holes, but two bogeys on the back nine left him in a tie for eleventh place.
Shane Lowry finished with a disappointing round of six over par.
McDowell admitted he was fortunate to see his eagle putt go in.
"It was probably going to be six or eight feet by, so it was a nice little bonus.
"Overall I'm pretty happy. I had five weeks off coming in here and didn't really know what to expect.
"It was tough conditions, greens (were) firm and fast, and windy conditions. It was a case of hanging in there as much as possible."
The Portrush native will play in three of the four events which make up the European Tour's season-ending 'Final Series'. He will play in the WGC-Champions Tournament next week, which also takes place in Shanghai.
He confirmed he will not play in the Turkish Open but will return for the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai in mid-November.
He hopes to challenge for the Masters title in Shanghai this weekend, which is the first leg of the £18m series.
"The leader (Guthrie) is seven under par, but level par is 14th so that sums it up really," said McDowell.
"It's a case of jockeying for position - try not to shoot yourself out of it right now, and stay in the mix."