Welshman Jamie Donaldson left all but one of Europe's Ryder Cup side trailing in his wake with a brilliant course-record 62 at the BMW Masters in Shanghai.
Donaldson, whose victory at the Irish Open in July was his first in 255 European Tour events, birdied 10 of the first 16 holes at Lake Malaren and then saw his chip to the short 17th lip out of the hole.
After parring the 471-yard last the 37-year-old held a four-stroke lead over Swede Peter Hanson, who still had three holes remaining.
Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal, without a top-10 finish since January, and Northern Ireland's Michael Hoey were both in with 67s.
World number one Rory McIlroy was back on the course where he won the Shanghai Masters a year ago and entering the closing stretch he was four under along with Chicago hero Martin Kaymer and Italian brothers Francesco and Edoardo Molinari.
Luke Donald and Lee Westwood were one further back, while Justin Rose, McIlroy's closest challenger on the Race to Dubai Order of Merit, was two under along with Graeme McDowell, Paul Lawrie and Ian Poulter, playing for the first time since winning all his four games at Medinah.