Crans Montana (Switzerland): Jeev Milkha Singh opened with a bogey-free four-under 67 to lie at joint eighth place at the end of the first round of the Omega European Masters, even as Shiv Kapur and Gaganjeet Bhullar carded one-under 70 each to be tied 54th.
However, things did not pan out too well for the other three Indians -- Anirban Lahiri (73), SSP Chowrasia (74) and Jyoti Randhawa (76) -- who could be in danger of missing the halfway cut at the event, jointly sanctioned by Asian and European Tours.
World number six Rory McIlroy, back in action after injuring his arm at the US PGA Championship three weeks ago, turned in 33 and added five birdies against one bogey on his homeward nine in a card of 65. Also at 65 were Lee Sung, Martin Kaymer and Gary Boyd.
Jeev had birdies on the first, second, 15th and 17th and had no bogeys.
The best placed Asian Tour player was Lee Sung of Korea, who birdied the last two holes to soar to an opening round six-under-par 65 and was one shot behind leader Nick Dougherty while Bangladeshi Siddikur and reigning Asian Tour number one Noh Seung-yul of Korea were two shots back at 69.
The US Open champion, McIlroy, who played with reigning Asian Tour number one Noh Seung-yul of Korea and title holder Miguel Angel Jimenez, lost in a play-off in the 2008 edition.
Dougherty finally had something to smile about this season when he began the Omega European Masters with an eight under par 63 at Crans-sur-Sierre. He had nightmare slump to 791st in the Official World Golf Ranking and he had not made a single halfway cut since the UBS Hong Kong Open last November.
Dougherty, a three-time European Tour winner, covered the back nine first in a four under 31, then added further birdies at the first, third, seventh and long ninth -- the last of them when his pitch spun back to four feet after he had carved his second shot onto the adjoining 18th fairway.