Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson set the clubhouse target with a six-under-par 66 before play was suspended due to “dangerous” weather in the Shenzhen International in China.
Watson, who is making his third successive appearance in the event, carded an eagle and five birdies as he got off to a flying start in his bid to improve on a best finish of joint-eighth last year.
The effort earned him a one-shot lead in the clubhouse over a group of four players - South African duo Haydn Porteous and Dean Burmester, Frenchman Gregory Bourdy and German Max Kieffer.
“I love the golf course,” said Watson, who missed the cut in The Masters after rounds of 74 and 78 at Augusta National earlier this month, when his latest appearance in the event was confirmed.
Tommy Fleetwood, who is sitting second behind Masters champion Sergio Garcia in the Race to Dubai, had been sitting at the top of the leaderboard following four birdies in his first five holes.
But the Englishman bogeyed the second - his 11th - to sign for a three-under-par 69 to sit alongside Chinese duo Liang Ding-feng and Liu Yan-Wei, and American Daniel Im.
Maintaining his solid form this season, David Drysdale made an eagle and three birdies as he posted a two-under-par 70, one better than compatriot Duncan Stewart.
When play was then suspended at 14.10 local time with storms in the area, Richie Ramsay was two-under after four holes.
Stephen Gallacher and Scott Jamieson, the two other Scots in the field, were both one-under, having played nine and five holes respectively.
Ross Kellett started with a birdie as he led nine Scots into action in today’s first round of the Turkish Airlines Challenge in Belek.
The Motherwell man, who tied for 57th behind Frenchman Clement Sordet in the same event last year, was still one-under after six holes.
Finn Kalle Samooja was out in four-under-par at Gloria Golf Club, where Jack McDonald and Chris Doak were both level-par early on in their rounds.
Scott Henry and Grant Forrest were due to be other morning starts, with the afternoon wave including Ewen Ferguson, Bradley Neil, Jamie McLeary and David Law.
Former British Boys champion Ferguson made the cut in this event last year when he was still an amateur.
Paul Lawrie was left “raging” after dropping shots at two of the last four holes to miss out on a chance to win on the Algarve Pro Tour.
The Aberdonian had to settle for third spot in the Bom Sucesso Classic at Obidos, north of Lisbon, after a closing 71 for a six-under-par 210 total.
It left him one short of making a play-off that saw home player Pedro Figueiredo beat Englishman Jamie Abbott.
“Bogeyed 15 and 18...raging,” wrote Lawrie, who has been playing a few events on the mini-circuit with his oldest son Craig, on Twitter.
Wallace Booth had been the leading Scot in the 54-hole event after opening with two 69s but he slipped to joint-14th after a closing 78.