Lawrie has a one-stroke advantage over Victor Dubuisson, Damien McGrane and Pedro Oriol, who each had six birdies and a bogey in finishing the first round at 67. Shane Lowry and Mikael Lundberg were tied for fifth at 4-under 68.
Lawrie played the back nine of the Prosper Golf Resort course first Thursday and was 2-under after nine holes. He had a birdie at the first hole but jumped into the lead with three birdies over the four-hole span from Nos. 5-8.
"I played lovely golf today," Lawrie said. "No bogeys, which always helps. A couple of nice up-and-downs when I really needed them -- on 2 and 3 -- my 11th and 12th.
"Other than that, I played lovely, solid golf and every chance I gave myself from short range, I holed it -- though I missed about a 10-footer at the last."