Englishman Lee Corfield has continued his strong start to the MENA Tour season after grabbing the early initiative at the Royal Golf Mohammedia Open in Morocco.

The 35-year-old, third at last week’s Casablanca Open after holding the 36-hole lead, capitalised on a steady start Sunday to fire a flawless five-under first round 66 at Royal Golf D’Anfa Club.

Corfield leads by two from Engishmen Adam Sagar and Jamie Elson while South African Tyler Hogarty, who won last year’s MENA Tour Championship, also signed for a 68.

Dutchman Pierre Junior Verlaar reeled off five birdies in his last six holes to card a 69 to lead the amateur standings which includes Dubai’s Rayhan Thomas who settled into a tie of 58th place with a three over 74 in his first start of the season.

Corfield picked up four shots in a stunning three-hole stretch from the 7th including an eagle on the 9th before birdieing the final hole.

“I got off to a steady start with six pars in a row and then two birdies and an eagle on the next three holes got my round going,” said Corfield.

“It felt nice to finish with a birdie on the 18th. The course is in great shape though it was a bit tricky out there with the wind blowing. Really happy with my day’s work,” said Corfied, a four-time winner on the MENA Tour.

Hogarty recovered from a double bogey on the 1st with seven birdies in nine holes in the middle of his round before dropping two further shots to finish the day three under.

Mohamed Belaroussia (Morocco) carded a two-under 69 to lead the MENA Division, one ahead of his compatriots Ahmed Marjan and Mehdi Saissi as Younes El Hassani, the winner of the Arab onours last week, settled for level-par 71.

Elsewhere, defending champion Zane Scotland (England) returned a 71 while Spain’s Leo Lilja, who won the Casablanca Open last week, signed for a 74 to join seasoned Andrew Marshall (England) in a tie for 58th, one ahead of former England cricketer Craig Kieswetter and two clear of Luke Joy on a day when 20 players broke par.