Eight players share second place at Saint-Nom-la-Breteche Golf Club, including Scotsmen Andrew Coltart and Gary Orr.
Goosen shot 64 in the third round last year to propel him to the title. The 32-year-old South African has three career victories in France.
Thursday, he bogeyed the 1st and 3rd holes, but recorded seven straight birdies ' one short of the tour record ' beginning at the 4th.
Had Goosen made a 30-footer at the par-4 11th he would have matched the record of eight in a row set by Ian Woosnam in 1985 and equaled by Seve Ballesteros, Tony Johnstone, John Bickerton, Mark OMeara, Raymond Russell, Darren Clarke and Marcello Santi.
Goosen, who currently leads the Volvo Order of Merit, is in search of his third victory of the season. He won the U.S. Open in June, and then a month later captured the Scottish Open.
'Winning the Order of Merit for the first time is definitely my goal,' he said.
'There's a long way to go, but because I don't have any chance of playing in the Tour Championship in the U.S. and I have no more events on the U.S. Tour, I'm definitely going for it.
'I don't want to put myself under pressure, though, and I'm not going to force it.'
Mikael Lundberg, Steve Webster, Scott Gardiner, Gary Emerson, Mark Roe and Jean Hugo each opened in 5-under-par 66.
Sergio Garcia shot 3-under 68, while Colin Montgomerie carded a 4-over 75.
First-round play was halted at noon for a minutes silence in memory of the victims of last weeks terror attacks in the United States.
'Before the minute's silence it had stopped raining, but as soon as the silence started, it started raining again,' Garcia said. 'It was as if the sky was crying.'
Full-field scores from the Trophee Lancome