Robert Karlsson and Padraig Harrington both made poor starts in the Volvo Masters, which has given Lee Westwood a glimmer of hope of stealing the Order of Merit title.
Dane Søren Kjeldsen leads the way after a classy 65 at Valderrama, with Westwood just five shots back.
Karlsson and Harrington are eight and 11 shots back respectively.
Although Karlsson does not have the pressure of having to win, the Swede will be relieved to have posted a 73 having been four-over at one stage.
But Harrington finds himself way back in the field after a disappointing 76 and his efforts to top the Money List appear to be over.
Kjeldsen made easy work of a course that seemed to be giving others fits, making eight birdies and only two bogeys to give himself a three-stroke lead over Sergio Garcia.
Garcia started where he left off after his win at the Castello Masters last week and his 68 puts him one clear of English duo David Lynn and Anthony Wall.
Meanwhile last year’s Volvo Masters and Order of Merit champion, Justin Rose, carded a nine-over 80 to prop up the entire field.