Sergio Garcia dedicated his first round at the Portugal Masters to Celia Barquin Arozamena, the Spanish golfer who was murdered in the United States.
Garcia carded seven birdies in an opening 66 in Vilamoura to end the day three shots behind Australia’s Lucas Herbert, who returned a 63.
The former Masters champion is using the tournament as a warm-up for the Ryder Cup which starts next week.
“It was nice to shoot a nice score and dedicate it to Celia,” he said.
The Spaniard, who was handed a wildcard for the Ryder Cup by captain Thomas Bjorn, said he was “heartbroken” by the death of the 22-year-old European Ladies’ amateur champion, who was found dead on a golf course in Iowa on Monday.
Garcia, who is tied for sixth place, said: “The important thing today was that I stayed patient and calm. Even when I missed some birdie putts early on, I kept at it.
“The goal was to come here and do as well as I can, to get the competition juices going.”
Herbert carded an eagle and six birdies to finish a shot ahead of Ireland’s Shane Lowry and the English duo of Eddie Pepperell and Matt Wallace, with China’s Li Haotong a shot further back.