World No 7 Henrik Stenson briefly feared the worst before finding top gear to card an eventful 67 in the BMW International in Munich.
Stenson, who shared the lead after the first round of the US Open a week ago, faded to a tie for 27th and memorably compared the greens at Chambers Bay to like “putting on broccoli”.
But the former European No 1 found the putting surfaces at Eichenried Golf Club more to his liking as he overcame a triple bogey with eight birdies to finish five under par, two shots behind leaders Lasse Jensen, Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Daniel Gaunt.
Cabrera-Bello has finished fourth, 13th and second in his last three events and fired nine birdies in his 65.
Jansen carded seven birdies in a flawless round while Gaunt, a two-time winner on the Challenge Tour, had eight birdies against a solitary bogey.
Harrogate’s John Parry, who battled his way through all four rounds of the US Open at Chambers Bay, shot 74. He had birdies at the 6th and 8th either side of a double bogey 6 at the 7th and the effect of three birdies on the way in were washed away by a triple bogey 7 at the 16th.
Sheffield’s Matthew Fitzpatrick, third in the Lyoness Open in Austria a fortnight ago, opened with a 75.
He let shots slide at both of the outward nine’s par-5s and also bogeyed 10 before birdies at 14 and 18 sandwiched a triple bogey 7 at the 16th.
Hull’s Richard Finch carded 79 after bogeying his first two holes. Only one birdie followed with an unwanted hat-trick – double bogeys at a par-3, par-4 and par-5.