Luke Guthrie hit a sensational opening round of 7 under par to open up a three-shot lead on day one of the BMW Masters. The American playing in his first regular European Tour event hit five birdies and an eagle as a superb putting game landed him a 65-stroke round at Lake Malaren in Shanghai on Thursday. Guthrie avoided dropping a single shot and had back-to-back chip-ins at holes 14 and 15. He admitted he was in the form of his life. “It was one of the better rounds I&aposve ever played,” he told the official European Tour website. “I had 19 putts, and that was definitely the key to my round. “I had about five weeks off before I played the last two weeks over on the PGA Tour, and I&aposve been playing solid, hitting it a lot better and just been getting a lot out of my rounds again, which is nice. “I love Shanghai. This is my first time over in China and Asia, and I just wanted to challenge myself to come travel abroad and get used to this, and just keep gaining experiences and get better at becoming a global player.” Meanwhile, former Open champion John Daly returned from four months out of the sport to hit three birdies on the back nine and come in 4 under par. Daly, 47, recently had elbow surgery and admits he is reaping the early rewards of the treatment. “My elbow has been ailing me for probably six years,” he said. “The last four have been really just brutal and finally to get the surgery done, it&aposs nice to be able to pinch chips, which I haven&apost been able to do in a long time, so that&aposs encouraging.” Peter Uihlein completed an all-American top three. Northern Ireland&aposs Graeme McDowell currently lying fourth at 2 under pulled off the shot of the day as he successfully holed a 100-foot putt at the 13th. Last year&aposs runner-up Rory McIlroy followed up a promising start with a disappointing back nine to leave himself six strokes off the lead at 1 under. Defending champion Peter Hanson had a dismal day, coming in at 7 over par. Current Race to Dubai leader Henrik Stenson, who shook off a wrist injury in time to take his place at the tee, recovered from a disappointing front nine to have a par round of 72. Marcus Fraser and Brett Rumford are the best-placed Australians after both carded 1 over par rounds of 73 to be tied for 22nd while Matthew Griffin is a shot further back in a tie for 30th. The BMW Masters is the first event of the inaugural Final Series four tournaments that culminate in the crowning of the European Tour&aposs number one player.