Amateur Danny Denison put pre-tournament favourites Vijay Singh and Ernie Els in the shade as the sun shone on his brilliant opening round at the Commercialbank Qatar Masters.
The 20-year-old, who is based at Howley Hall Golf Club in Leeds, lies just one stroke off the lead held by Ricardo Gonzalez, of Argentina, and Swede Henrik Stenson after the Yorkshireman shot a five-under-par 67 in Doha.
Denison, the sole amateur in the event, put his local knowledge to good use having been granted entry as his prize for winning the Qatar Open Golf Championship around the same course last month.
Playing in his first professional tournament, he bogeyed just once, at the last, in a round that included six birdies.
He said: "I didn't see my name on the leaderboard until the 12th and it was a great feeling to see it above some of the others who are here this week.
"Going into the weekend, I just wanted to prepare as normal and forget about who was in the field, and thankfully I did.
"I played with Lee West-wood on Wednesday and although I didn't play that well, it didn't bother me.
"I was quietly confident that I was hitting it well and if I got the putter rolling, I would be in with a shout of shooting a good score."
A place on the leaderboard at his first European Tour tournament is a long way from the club bar and golf shop where he has worked part-time to make ends meet in recent years.
And his day's work was put into perspective by problems he encountered since his days in boys' golf, when he represented England and Europe.
"I didn't adapt quite as well as I had hoped to do to the men's game," he said. "Although my game was improving, I wasn't getting the results. I can't quite put my finger on why, it just wasn't there.
"But now I am stronger and fitter and my all-round game is improving. I think I am playing well enough to turn professional in September."
Denison's opening-day score will raise his profile and possibly help him secure the sponsorship he needs to fulfil that ambition.
A call-up for the Walker Cup in the autumn "would be a massive honour", but his short-term goal is to make sure he is still involved in Doha come Sunday.
"Making the cut is my goal and I've got myself into a good position, although I'm not getting carried away with 18 holes to play on Friday," Denison added.
Singh and Els, whose faces adorn billboards promoting the event across a city that resembles one big building site, found the going difficult.
The Fijian world No 2 had dismissed fears about his putting before the event, but accepted he needed to change his putter after making only three birdies in a one-over-par round of 73.
Singh said: "I just didn't get it going, although I didn't actually play that badly. I had chances but I didn't take them and every time I missed the green I seemed to make bogey."
South African Els, the world No 5, had a marginally better day in his first competition of 2006.
A rusty front nine, where he dropped two shots, was followed by three birdies on the way back to leave him one-under-par, and far from disheartened.
Steve Webster maintained the status quo in his friendly rivalry with fellow Atherstone golfer Paul Broadhurst, both firing level-par 72s while Droitwich's John Bickerton came in a shot behind on the leaderboard.