Luke Guthrie leads the BMW Masters at Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai, China, but Big John Daly is right behind him. Luke Guthrie / Getty Images Luke required just 19 putts in his opening round -7 under par 65 at the BMW Masters presented by SRE Group as the Final Series began in Shanghai. The 23-year-old American, who only turned professional last year and is playing his first regular European Tour event, carded five birdies and an Eagle, a chip in on the par five 15th hole. Not surprisingly Luke said it was a great day; "It was a great day, 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've 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. I was really looking forward to this tournament on my schedule and I just can't be more happy to be here." Big John Daly had been recovering on the sidelines for four months, following elbow surgery, and the 47-year-old was delighted with his return. A round of -4 under par 68 announced his return to golf; “When you don't play competitive for a while, especially against all these guys out here, as good as they are, you want to execute and hit solid shots. Luckily I got a lot of shots that came out right today." “My elbow has been ailing me for probably six years, and the last four have been really just brutal and finally to get the surgery done, it's nice to be able to pinch chips, which I haven't been able to do in a long time, so that's encouraging.” Completing an American top three is Peter Uihlein, an opening round of -3 under par is another good start to his first European Tour season. Peter has been in contention all season long , and has a win in Madeira and finished runner-up to at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Peter said it had been really tough out there today, and was amazed at the effort of Luke; "That was tough today, that was really hard, that was some round by Luke. I don't know what course he played, but that was really difficult today. I got off to a bad start and I was able to grind it out and finish well, so it was nice.” In the contest to be European Number One, Race to Dubai leader Henrik Stenson carded a level par 72, while his nearest challenger Graeme McDowell shot a -2 under par 70, helped by an Eagle from around 100 feet on the par five 13th hole.