Francesco Molinari of Italy took the clubhouse lead during a rainy and windy first round of the Spanish Open, shooting a 2-under 70 to sit one shot ahead of four players.
Molinari made four birdies to go with two bogeys on the Jose Maria Olazabal-designed Real Club de Golf de Sevilla.
''I'm very happy as I played really solid but it was tough as it can get,'' Molinari said. ''The rough is just brutal, and the wind and rain make it hard to keep the ball on the fairway. My game was really good today, and hopefully it will be the same for the next three days and I'm sure I will have a chance to win this tournament on Sunday.''
The quartet of Argentina's Ricardo Gonzalez, England's James Morrison, Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen and Frenchman Benjamin Herbert were a shot back in a tie for second.
Olazabal, who said this week he was surprised by how tough the setup was on the course he designed a decade ago, shot a 3-over 75. His playing partner Paul Lawrie struggled even more, shooting a 778 after sending two balls into the water off the tee during the height of a downpour on the par-4 15th.