A late flourish from Bernd Wiesberger saw the Austrian finish top of the Dubai Desert Classic leaderboard after the first day.
Austria's Bernd Wiesberger leads the Dubai Desert Classic by a shot after the first day in the United Arab Emirates, having birdied five of the last six holes.
Wiesberger has been in fine form during recent weeks - now sitting at 46 under for his last 11 rounds - and continued that on Thursday with a flawless round that put him clear of a host of players in tied second.
Two birdies before the turn and six more afterwards helped him home in 64 - just enough to keep Nicolas Colsaerts, Andy Sullivan, Lee Westwood and Peter Uihlein at bay.
American Uihlein briefly held the lead as he made the most of a strong start to go eight under through 13, but a sluggish finale - including a bogey at the 17th - ultimately cost him.
It could have been worse for Uihlein, had he not gained the up and down required to make par at the last.
Rory McIlroy and Stephen Gallacher were among a group further back on tied sixth, with the Northern Irishman left to lament a dropped shot at the ninth.
"It was a little disappointing to bogey but the golf I played up until then was nice and it's a solid start," said the world number one.
"I hit the ball well for the most part and gave myself plenty of birdie chances and I was able to convert a few more of them than I did in Abu Dhabi a couple of weeks ago.
"It's definitely something to build on for the next few days."
Italy's Emiliano Grillo will also go into the second round full of confidence as he produced a stunning finish to birdie the last seven holes to finish on 67 - level with the likes of Martin Kaymer in tied 13th.
Louis Oosthuizen withdrew from the tournament before teeing off due to a back injury.