A brilliant burst of scoring vaulted Scotland's David Law to the top of the leaderboard as the European Tour enjoyed a successful, if somewhat surreal, return to action at the British Masters.
Law began his first round at Close House with five straight pars but then birdied the next five holes in a row, produced a brilliant up and down from thick rough to save par on the 11th and birdied the 12th and 13th as well.
The resulting seven-under-par 64 left the 29-year-old one shot ahead of Oliver Fisher, Garrick Porteous and Renato Paratore, with 2018 winner Eddie Pepperell among those two shots further back at the Newcastle course.
Australians Scott Hend and Jake McLeod are in a group sharing 29th place after posting two-under rounds of 69, with countrymen Maverick Antcliff and Jason Scrivener a shot back.
"You need to know it might not go your way this week. It's only one round but it's a very positive start." - David Law
Law had missed five cuts in seven events in 2020, including four in a row before the sport shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, although a recent course-record 60 at Hazlehead had suggested a return to the sort of form which saw him win the ISPS Handa Vic Open in February 2019.
"I did not really know what to expect and it's probably (about having) a mindset of acceptance," Law said.
"You need to know it might not go your way this week. It's only one round but it's a very positive start."
All players, caddies and officials were tested before travelling to the venue and again when arriving on site, with no reported positives so far. Face masks are required indoors and social distancing measures observed.
One of the most impressive rounds of the day came from former US Open champion Michael Campbell, who admitted he was "completely flabbergasted" with an opening 68.
Campbell has not made a cut on the European Tour since 2013 as he struggled with a foot injury and loss of form, but the 51-year-old New Zealander rolled back the years with the help of his caddie, his 21-year-old son Thomas.
"My expectations were pretty much none," Campbell said. "I wanted to get out here and enjoy myself with my son Thomas. When I had my success from 1999 to 2005 he was only seven, so he can't remember.
"My main focus is on the Champions Tour but it's hard to get in there. I asked for 15 invites last year and got one. It doesn't mean much, being a major winner. Paul Lawrie has had exactly the same problem."
Tournament host Lee Westwood ended the day six shots off the lead.