David Law made up for lost time in the first round of the British Masters with seven birdies in the space of eight holes to take a one-shot lead.
Close House Golf Club on the outskirts of Newcastle is the venue for the first full European Tour event since March, when the season was suspended due to the coronavirus crisis.
Law was not among the field for two competitions in Austria that were co-sanctioned with the Challenge Tour in the past fortnight, but the Scotsman showed no signs of rust on Wednesday after a long lay-off.
The 29-year-old signed for a seven-under 64 after a bogey-free start, making his seven gains between the sixth and 13th holes with no spectators allowed in to watch.
Oliver Fisher took the clubhouse lead with a six-under 65 but shares second place with Renato Paratore and Garrick Porteous.
Aaron Cockerill, Pedro Figueiredo, Rasmus Hojgaard and Lee Slattery are just two shots adrift of Law, who believes he has benefited from an unexpected break from the Tour.
"We've been lucky at home, not having anyone affected by the illness thankfully," he said. "I've got a daughter who is 19 months old, so to have that extended time at home - I'll never get that again probably - so we had a great time.
"It was a nice time for me because I wasn't playing the best going into that break, so it was a good time to recharge and reboot."
Miguel Angel Jimenez equalled Sam Torrance's record of 706 appearances at European Tour events and sits four shots off the lead.