Austrian Bernd Wiesberger holds a one-shot lead after the opening round of the Dubai Desert Classic.
The 29-year-old hit an eight-under-par 64 to lead a chasing group including England's Lee Westwood, Andy Sullivan and Belgian Nicolas Colsearts.
Defending champion Stephen Gallacher is among seven players tied for sixth, including World No 1 Rory McIlroy.
McIlroy said: "I didn't hit a fairway until my eighth hole. But it got better."
Gallacher is attempting to become only the sixth player in European Tour history to win the same event three years in a row.
US Open champion, Martin Kaymer, hit a five-under-par round 67 in his first appearance since letting slip a 10-shot lead to lose the Abu Dhabi Championship earlier in January.