Victorian golfer Matthew Griffin has emphasised his liking for the 13th Beach links layout by firing a seven-under 65 to be among the clubhouse leaders on day one of the Vic Open.
Griffin, who won the title in 2014, took advantage of mild breezes to attack the Creek course at the 36-holes golf club at Barwon Heads.
He was bogey free in a hot group as one of the first threesomes out this morning.
Playing partners, Tasmanian Simon Hawkes, the 2018 champion, carded a five-under 67 while West Australian Jason Scrivener was a shot further back courtesy of a 68.
NSW's Travis Smyth, who plays on the Asian tour, joined Griffin with a 65 on Thursday as the morning groups reaped the rewards from the ideal playing conditions.
Queenslander Jake McLeod and Justin Warren also finished their first rounds at seven-under-par for a four-way tie at the top of the leaderboard.
McLeod was a shot better off than his playing partner, WA's Min Woo Lee (66).
Another Queenslander Brad Kennedy (66) was among the group of six a shot off the pace midway through the opening round, along with Queensland amateur Jediah Morgan.
Queensland amateur Jediah Morgan (66) was the first-round bolter with a stunning round on the Beach course, which is considered to be the tougher of the two layoutsused this week.
Kennedy was runner-up to Scot David Law in last year's Vic Open.
The defending champion commenced his defence with a solid four-under 68.