Scotland's Stephen Gallacher shot a five-under 66 to lie third after the first round of the French Open.
The 39-year-old made a superb start to his round, reaching seven under after 14 holes, before fading slightly with two bogeys in his last three holes.
American Kevin Stadler leads on seven under at the Le Golf National course outside Paris, with Germany's Marcel Siem one shot further back.
Wales's Jamie Donaldson was also firmly in contention after a fine round of 67.
Gallacher currently lies 10th on the European points list and needs a strong showing in Paris to strengthen his claims for a Ryder Cup place.
"I didn't do too much wrong on the last couple of holes, but that's what this course can do," Gallagher said.
"I'll still take two [shots] better than my previous best in this event."
There are three qualification spots for next month's Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on offer at Le Golf National.
Gallacher and Stadler have already booked their places, but Siem has not.
The German looks well placed to be one of the beneficiaries though after his strong start.