Shubhankar Sharma sunk in five birdies on the back-nine to card a five-under 67, making a solid start at the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur.
The 22-year-old, who was recently got the Arjuna Award, was in tied-14th place, four shots behind leader Bronson Burgoon (63) of USA. He played in all four majors and the four World Golf Championship events this year.
A record four Indians are taking part in the only PGA Tour event in Southeast Asia.
Fiji International champion Gaganjeet Bhullar was the next best placed Indian – tied 26th at three-under 69.
Anirban Lahiri, despite a good start, finished even-par 72 after two double bogeys on the back nine. Rahil Gangjee finished on five-over 77.
The 31-year-old Burgoon ended first day at nine under 63, one ahead of Austin Cook. Burgoon, starting on back nine, had a bogey on the 13th but then played superb golf with eight birdies and an eagle on Par-5 18th, which was his ninth hole.
“The way I played the front nine, I would have been happy to just finish with an under-par score. Things just clicked on the back nine and five-under was really a bonus,” said Sharma.
“I am very satisfied with the start. But I think I need to shoot at least five-under par on all four days to be in contention. This golf course is gettable and we can see lots of low scores already,” he added.
Bhullar was even-par after eight holes after starting from the 10th tee, and it was a birdie on the 18th hole (his ninth) that kick-started his run.
“This is a marathon and I am happy that I have made a steady start. I am playing very well and hit about 15 GIRs. All I have to do is improve upon this score each day,” Bhullar said.