Johannesburg - Jbe Kruger and Andy Sullivan both shot a 6-under 66 on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the European Tour's South African Open.
Ernie Els was a shot behind as he searches for his first win in nearly two years.
Els opened 2015 with a 67 in his home town, picking up three birdies in his first nine after starting on No 10 and making his only bogey on
Els' compatriot Kruger was bogey-free around Glendower Golf Club, while England's Sullivan recovered from a double bogey to ultimately card six birdies and an eagle.
Els was without a top-three finish on the European Tour last year for the first time since 1992, but his crisp iron play put him in early contention for a sixth South African Open title.
The scoreboard supplied by Sapa:
66 - Jbe' Kruger, Andy Sullivan (ENG)
67 - Ernie Els, Lasse Jensen(DEN), Richard Sterne
68 - Jordi Garcia Pinto (ESP), David Drysdale (SCO), Charl Schwartzel, Colin Nel
69 - Niclas Fasth (SWE), Edoardo Molinari (ITA), Raphael Jacquelin (FRA), Tom Murray (ENG), Erik van Rooyen
70 - John Parry (ENG), Shaun Norris, Matt Ford (ENG), Thomas Aiken, Chris Swanepoel, Lee Slattery (ENG), Tjaart van der Walt, Rikard Karlberg (SWE), Louis de Jager, George Coetzee, Justin Harding, Jerome Lando Casanova (FRA), Nacho Elvira (ESP)
71 - Alessandro Tadini (ITA), Chris Doak (SCO), JJ Senekal, Branden Grace, Keith Horne, Pedro Oriol (ESP), James Morrison (ENG), Jared Harvey, Peter Lawrie (IRL), Gareth Maybin (NIR), Paul Lawrie(SCO), Pablo Martin Benavides (ESP), Paul Maddy (ENG)
72 - Adilson Da Silva (BRA), Darren Fichardt, Hennie Otto, Matthew Nixon (ENG), Carlos Del Moral (ESP), Pelle Edberg (SWE), Antonio Hortal (ESP), Tyrone Mordt, Ricardo Santos (POR), Jaco Van Zyl, Trevor Fisher Jnr, Renato Paratore (ITA), Russel Franz
73 - Jacques Kruyswijk, Jason Scrivener (AUS), Daniel Brooks (ENG), Merrick Bremner, Jorge Campillo (ESP), Jake Roos, Morten Orum Madsen (DEN), Jason Palmer (ENG), Doug McGuigan, Vaughn Groenewald, Eduardo de la Riva (ESP), Anders Hansen (DEN), Jean Hugo, Brandon Pieters, Trevor Dodds(NAM), Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG), Wallie Coetsee, Mikael Lundberg(SWE), Heinrich Bruiners, Desvonde Botes, Michael Hollick, Charl Coetzee, Dylan Frittelli, Alex Haindl, Borja Virto Astudillo (ESP)
74 - Lindani Ndwandwe, Tristen Strydom (AMA), Johan Edfors (SWE), Allan Versfeld, Neil Schietekat, Ross McGowan (ENG), Chris Paisley (ENG), Etienne Bond, Keenan Davidse, Tyrone Ferreira, Stuart Manley (WAL), Estanislao Goya (ARG), Phillip Price (WAL), Ruan de Smidt, Warren Abery, Dean Burmester, Oliver Bekker, Robert Dinwiddie (ENG), Soren Hansen (DEN), Oliver Farr (WAL), Andrea Pavan (ITA), Hendrikus Stoop (AMA)
75 - John Hahn (USA), Espen Kofstad (NOR), Bryce Easton, David Horsey (ENG), Kevin Stone, Ben Evans (ENG), Morne Buys, Matthew Spacey (AMA), Rhys West, Michiel Bothma, Justin Walters, Gary Stal (FRA), Titch Moore
76 - PH McIntyre, Dawie Van der Walt, Ryan Cairns (ZIM), Cyril Bouniol (FRA), Bernd Ritthammer (GER), James Kingston, Richard Finch (ENG), Richard McEvoy (ENG), Jason Barnes (ENG), Garth Mulroy, Andrew Curlewis, Sam Hutsby (ENG)
77 - Scott Henry (SCO), Jake Redman, Zander Lombard, Ulrich van den Berg, Jason Smith (AMA), Michael Lorenzo-Vera (FRA), Ryan Tipping, Yubin Jung, Theunis Spangenberg, Seve Benson (ENG), Lyle Rowe, Peter Karmis
78 - Gerlou Roux (AMA), Christiaan Basson, Martin du Toit, Derick Petersen, Danie van Tonder, James Kamte, Daniel Woltman (USA)
79 - Kenneth Dube, Jaco Ahlers, Andi Dill (AMA)
80 - Chris Lloyd (ENG), Hendrik Buhrmann
81 - Antonio Rosado (POR), Mpho Mafishe, Pieter Moolman
83 - Tertius van den Berg, Mike Maile
86 - Charlie Bolling (USA)
89 - Ryan Strauss.