Norway's Daniel-Andre Tande's leap of 139.0 meters won him 157.5 points and top spot in qualifying for the first of this year's Four Hills events. Markus Eisenbichler (pictured) leads the Germans, qualifying in sixth.
Tande sits in second position in the overall World Cup standings and his jump was enough to put him ahead of Poland's Kamil Stoch (137.5 / 154.1) and Austrian Stefan Kraft (136.0 / 151.1) in Oberstdorf on Thursday.
Markus Eisenbichler was one of nine German ski jumpers to qualify for the opening event of the annual tournament which will continue in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (January 1), Innsbruck (January 4) and Bischofshofen (January 6) over the coming days.
While the German contenders aren't necessarily expected to win the first event, which starts in earnest on Friday, an impressive 14,000 fans turned up to see the home jumpers qualify, something Eisenbichler appreciated.
"I really enjoy it here with so many German fans, that's cool," he said. "But I'm not quite satisfied with my jump - the landing has to be a lot better "
Hotly-tipped 17-year-old Slovenian Domen Prevc, who has four World Cup wins to his name this season, had to settle for eighth after failing to convince in both training runs.