The Scot came close to landing a maiden DP World Tour triumph at the Newport venue when finishing in the top ten both times in a double-header there in 2020.
He hit the ground running again on this occasion by carding a four-under-par 67 to sit at the top of the leaderboard alongside Frenchman Julien Guerrier and England’s Dale Whitnell.
Syme dropped his only shot of the day on the tenth – his last hole, having teed off at the 11th – to just miss out on holding the solo overnight lead.
“It was good,” he said of his day’s work. “I played very solid. “It was very tricky, the wind was moving all over the place, certainly on the back nine for us so it was just trying to stay on top of the best you can.
“I had a few good up and downs but one poor swing all day which is a very promising start.”
He birdied the 11th, 14th and 15th before adding gains at the first and ninth on his inward journey on the 2010 Ryder Cup course.
“Overall I’m pleased, I kept my ball out of the trouble well,” he added. “You’ve got to drive it well and the greens are pretty undulating in parts as well so you need to be cautious about where you’re leaving it. It challenges every part of your game."
Ewen Ferguson, winner of the Qatar Masters earlier in the year, also started promisingly with a 68.