Simon Dyson surged into the first-round lead at the Volvo China Open after a superb 67 left the Englishman joint-first alongside Spain's Alvaro Quiros.
Compatriot's Tyrrell Hatton and David Horsey lie just a shot back on minus four, with Ian Poulter, Simon Khan and Richard Bland a shot further back on a good day for the present English contingent.
Henrik Stenson, winner of the European Tour money list last year, was also in contention at minus one.
2012 Ryder Cup heroes Paul Lawrie and Nicolas Colsaerts struggled, however, carding six over and five over respectively leaving them well off the pace and needing a minor miracle to make the halfway cut.
Last year's US PGA winner Jason Dufner was also in attendance, but will also need a low one tomorrow to be there for the weekend after his 73.
And Andy Sullivan responded impressively from his error-strewn round in Kuala Lumpur last Sunday with a round of 71 to sit just inside the top 50.
But it was Dyson who lit up Genzon Golf Club - hosting the 20th version of the tournament on its first appearance on the tour - with a front nine 33 having started his day at the tenth.
Back-to-back birdies on 17 and 18 built momentum as he approached the turn, but his progress up the leaderboard was checked when he bogeyed the par-four first. He quickly atoned for that, though, with further birdies at two and three to make it four in the last five to sit on four under with six holes left.
He consolidated by parring his way to the last thanks to superb tee-to-green work, where he ensured he'd go into Friday as co-leader after a deft chip shot left a tap-in birdie to get to five under.
For Quiros, it was timely return to form after three years without a win in Europe having won six times in the four years previous. He even reached a career-high 21st in the Official World Golf Rankings when he won the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
Sadly, injuries led to a dip in form for the 31 year old which has seen him embark on a barren run since 2011. However, he fired four birdies and an eagle in his round, with his error at the tenth the only blemish on his card. Like Dyson, the Spaniard also finished with a birdie to grab a share of the opening day lead.
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