Anders Hansen of Denmark shot a 5-under 66 to lead by a stroke after the first round of the French Open on a golf course that punished some of the main contenders on Thursday.
Hansen made seven birdies and two bogeys on the Albatross course of Le Golf National, which will host the Ryder Cup in 2018.
''You do want to stay out of the rubbish, and there's plenty of it out there,'' Hansen said. ''Every hole there's something. One bad shot and all of a sudden you're staring at double. It's just tough out there.''
Hansen finished fourth at the French Open in 2009 and his best result this year was a third place at the Malaysian Open in March.
Frenchman Romain Wattel was in second place, one stroke clear of nine players who shared third place, including Martin Kaymer of Germany.
The 22-year-old Wattel finished joint third at the Lyoness Open last month in Austria and wound up fourth in April at the Ballantine's Championship in Seoul.