Edoardo Molinari was pleased to card a 66 in testing conditions as he joined the early pacesetters at the Made in Denmark.
The Italian, a three-time winner on the European Tour, was seven under at one point but dropped a couple of shots over the last four holes to sit in a five-way tie for the lead.
High winds ensured low scoring was no easy feat, meaning Molinari was content to label it a good day at the office.
"I had a good round of golf," he said after Thursday's round. "It was quite windy, I hit the ball very solid.
"I made a few putts on my front nine, missed a couple of putts coming in when it was very windy. Overall it's been a good day.
"I wasn't trying to make that many birdies, it was so windy I was just trying to hit greens and give myself good looks at birdies."
The 38-year-old, who is the brother of Open champion Francesco Molinari, is joined at the top of the leaderboard by English trio Matthew Southgate, Paul Waring and Tom Murray, with Alejandro Canizares also in the mix.
Reigning champion Matt Wallace, who finished in a tie for third at the US PGA Championship, is in a group of players just one stroke off the pace.
There was joy for home hope Martin Simonsen when he aced the 16th to win a luxury golf cart for him and his caddie.