Ryo Hisatsune began the week with six successive birdies as he posted a stunning 64 to lead by two shots after the first round of the 2023 Ras Al Khaimah Championship.
The DP World Tour Qualifying School graduate made the most of favourable scoring conditions at Al Hamra Golf Club on Thursday, firing nine birdies before dropping his only shot of the day at the 18th after an errant tee-shot.
The 20-year-old Japanese leads the way on eight under par, two shots ahead of Dane Rasmus Højgaard, Italian Edoardo Molinari and England's Matthew Baldwin.
Ryan Fox was another stroke further back on five under along with Callum Shinkwin, Alexander Björk, Kazuki Higa, Oliver Bekker and Oliver Hundebøll.
Starting his round at 11.40 local time, Hisatsune kicked things off with a tap-in birdie at the first before holing from 17 feet for another on the second.
He then took advantage of the long third for a hat-trick of birdies and sent his tee-shot at the par-three fourth to eight feet before knocking in the birdie putt.
Hisatsune, who finished in a tie for second at the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship back in November, holed a five-footer at the fifth before making it six in a row on the sixth.
The run was broken at the short seventh but Hisatsune birdied the eighth from close range to hit the front on seven under par.
He picked up another shot from 13 feet at the tenth to move two shots clear.
After missing a good chance at the 14th, Hisatsune made no mistake on the short 15th, rolling in an 18-footer for his ninth birdie of the day.
He continued to give himself chances at the 16th and 17th but could not convert them before a wayward tee-shot at the last led to a bogey there as he missed his par putt by the narrowest of margins.
A delighted Hisatsune said of his start: "It was so unreal. I was just hitting shots, holing putts. Every time I made it. It was so amazing.
"It’s the first time I’ve had six birdies in a row.
"It’s my first event of the (calendar) year and I was a little nervous at the start, but it was an easy start. So lucky.
"(After that start) I thought 'keep going'. On the back nine there are some tough holes. I had to keep making shots, making pars. On the last hole I was so nervous, but it was just a bogey so OK for me."