The Offaly golfer is competing for the first time since winning the Ryder Cup with Europe.
Shane Lowry returned to action for the first time since the Ryder Cup at the DP World Tour Championship this morning.
The Clara man shot a level par round of 72 after hitting two birdies and two bogeys, along with 14 pars.
He is tied 25th on the leaderboard.
Rory McIlroy finished on one under after his opening round.
The lead is held on 5 under par by Julien Guerrier of France.