Michael Howey finished a further three shots back
Ireland's Paul Dunne carded an even-par round of 73 on the first day of the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco earlier on Thursday.
A mixed round saw him card four bogies and four birdies.
Northern Ireland's Michael Hoey was two-under when he arrived on the eleventh tee only to card a double-bogey on the 12th and a triple-bogey on the 18th to leave him on 76 for the tournament.
Elsewhere, James Heath provided a moment of light relief for spectators when he stripped down to his underwear to hit a ball out of the lake instead of taking a drop on the 17th hole.
Commitment 😳 pic.twitter.com/bvYuwLmeqc— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) April 13, 2017
It worked out relatively well for him as he landed the ball on the green only to miss his par putt.
Other notable scores sees Jaco Van Zyl on two-under, Matteo Manassero on one-under and Victor Dubuisson on one-over.