Four birdies on the second nine has Australian Scott Hend in contention after the first round of the Irish Open.
The Queenslander shot a two-under 68 to be three behind South African Dean Burmester and English duo Jordan Smith and Aaron Rai in Ballymena.
Hend is the best of the Australians in a tie for 10th, with Wade Ormsby in joint 23rd, two shots back.
The leading trio hit brilliant first rounds of 65 to share a one-shot lead over Englishman Toby Tree.
Early starter Burmester raced to seven under after 12 holes as thoughts harboured of the second round of 59 in European Tour history at Galgorm Castle.
Four pars followed to derail those thoughts before the South African double-bogeyed the penultimate hole to drop to five under par, although this still proved to be a daunting clubhouse target.
"For 16 holes, I played flawless golf pretty much," Burmester said.
"I didn't really miss a shot.
"A couple of great up-and-downs kept the momentum going and then unfortunately on 17 I fell asleep over a three-footer. But other than that, honestly, I played great."
Smith and Rai were the only players to go blemish-free as they carded five birdies to match Burmester at the top of the leaderboard.
Smith picked up shots at the second and eighth before adding further gains at the 10th and 12th to sit one adrift.
And when the 27-year-old rolled in his fifth birdie at the 16th, he was the joint leader.
Smith had a great chance to go into the solo lead at the last but his birdie putt rolled up inches short to remain at five under.
"I am happy with today," Smith said.
"I need to go work on my driving a little bit and holing out but apart from that, very happy."
Rai recorded just one birdie on the front nine - at the sixth - before dialling in on the back nine.
He picked up shots at the 10th, 12th, 14th and 16th but could not improve his score as he made it a three-way tie at the top in County Antrim.
Tree mixed an eagle, four birdies and two bogeys to sit in solo fourth place at four under.
Open champion Shane Lowry did not enjoy his return to his home event as he carded a five-over-par 75, while European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington finished on one over.