England's Tyrrell Hatton, South African Justin Harding and Spain's Adri Arnaus shared the PGA Championship lead after the first round at Wentworth on Thursday.
World number 15 Hatton carded an eagle, five birdies and a solitary bogey to finish six under par, a total matched late in the day by Harding and Arnaus.
Shane Lowry, the 2019 British Open champion, Eddie Pepperell, Matt Fitzpatrick and Gavin Green were a shot off the lead on five under.
Scottish Open winner Aaron Rai and former world number one Justin Rose ere part of the group on four under.
Despite needing on-course treatment for back spasms, Ian Poulter finished birdie, birdie, eagle to return a 69.
Former Masters champion Patrick Reed had to settle for an opening 70 after a double bogey on his final hole.
Hatton grew up not far from Wentworth and often came to one of the European Tour's flagship events as a spectator, while he went into the final round in 2016 a shot off the lead before finishing seventh.
"My dad used to bring me up here, it was one of my favourite things to do when I was a kid so that's what makes this week so special," Hatton said.
"To lift the trophy here is definitely a goal of mine and hopefully I can play well the next few days and give myself the chance to do that. That would be very special."