India's Khalin Joshi set the early pace in the Singapore International golf Thursday, carding a five-under-par 67 to take the first round lead.
Joshi, who is chasing his second win on the Asian Tour, marked his card with seven birdies and two bogeys to head into the second round with a two-shot advantage.
In second place was unheralded Englishman William Harrold, who signed for a 69.
The gusty conditions at the Tanah Merah Country Club in the city-state proved to be a challenge, with only eight players returning with under-par rounds at the $1 million tournament.
"It was obviously a very challenging golf course to start off with," said Joshi.
"It's long, windy and the flags were all tough. The greens are also firm."
He added he was "very pleased" with his performance, but cautioned that "there's a long way to go still".
Ranked 1,715 in the world, Harrold was a late entry to the tournament.
But he upstaged many of his higher-ranked rivals, including reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Jazz Janewattananond, who posted a 71 to end the day tied for fifth.
"I was really happy just to get in," Harrold conceded. "I think I'm the last man on the field."
The Singapore International is the penultimate event of the Asian Tour's 2020-21 season.
It will be followed by a second tournament in the city-state next week, the SMBC Singapore Open.