Denmark's Jeff Winther and the South African duo of Oliver Bekker and Darren Fichardt are setting the pace at the Catalunya Championship in Girona after all shooting rounds of 66.
England's James Morrison also produced a brilliant burst of scoring on Thursday to lie just one shot off their lead.
Morrison carded a five-under-par 67 at PGA Catalunya to share second place with Haotong Li and Sebastian Heisele, with Winther, Bekker and Darren Fichardt all powering a shot clear.
But Fichardt was left frustrated, having covered his first 17 holes in eight-under-par, only to run up a double-bogey six on the 18th.
Morrison was one-over-par with eight holes to play, but the 37-year-old birdied six of them to boost his chances of a third DP World Tour title and first since the 2015 Spanish Open.
"I played really well, just hit some bad shots at the wrong time to start with," Morrison said. "It's one of those courses that you've just got to stick to it as there are plenty of chances coming up.
"I was playing with my best mate Wade (Ormsby) so it's always nice to have a bit of fun on the way round."
Alas, Australian Ormsby didn't enjoy himself quite as much as he had a bit of a nightmare, shooting an 80 which featured seven bogeys and a double.
Leading Australians were Queenslander Maverick Antcliff and Melbourne's Zach Murray, who both shot par 72s.
Scott Hend went round in 73 while Jason Scrivener carded a 74.