The Hawkstone Park ace shot a two under par score of 69 in testing conditions on day one to put himself in tied seventh position in the European Open event.
Scotland’s Connor Syme was the overnight leader after firing an opening 66.
Syme carded seven birdies and two bogeys to claim a share of the lead with England’s Jordan Smith on five under par, with Robert MacIntyre, Sebastian Soderberg, Callum Shinkwin and Kurt Kitayama sharing third place on three under.
Syme held a one-shot lead after 54 holes of the Celtic Classic last week at the same venue but had to settle for a share of third place following a final round of 71 which was compiled either side of a two-hour lightning delay.
Former Shropshire and Herefordshire junior Aaron Rai finished the first round on one under par in tied 13th with former Ludlow professional Oliver Farr on one over par going into today’s second round.