Graeme McDowell, Richard Green, and Niclas Fasth were a stroke back. Johan Edfors and former winner Miguel Angel Jimenez shot 68s.
Paul Casey, the leading money winner on the European Tour, shot a 5-over 76 to trail by 10 strokes.
Casey said he felt ill by the fifth hole, and got a shot for a nauseous stomach at the 11th hole.
'It wasn't too bad starting out, but (my stomach) wasn't feeling good, and it just got worse as the round went on,' said Casey, who leaned on his bag for support through the final holes.
Casey started well with a birdie on No. 2. But he bogeyed No. 6, and then had a double bogey on No. 7. He was forced to lay up after his drive nestled in the left hand rough in front of some tree branches, and he subsequently three-putted from 20 feet.
Padraig Harrington, second to Casey in the European season money title going into the final event, finished seven shots back and three ahead of Casey after his opening 73.
Robert Karlsson made a 20-foot putt on the last hole for a 69, while David Howell holed a 60-foot chip from the bunker for a 70.