Malelane - Wil Besseling of the Netherlands carded a near-perfect seven-under-par 65 opening round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship on Thursday to lead by a single stroke at Leopard Creek.
He made six straight pars in his first six holes, made a birdie on seven, a par on eight and another birdie to go out in 33.
"I played well from the start and gave myself opportunities and the putts didn't drop," he said. "I had a good par-save on eight, and a nice birdie on nine. From there on, I got some better chances and some putts dropped. I'm really happy with a 65 and a birdie on the last."
The homeward nine was a little bit more eventful for Besseling because after the par he made after the turn, he made a birdie on the 11th. A bogey on 13, his only drop on the day, took from the gains he’d made on the previous hole but he bounced back emphatically, birdieing the par-five 13th and the 14th before making an eagle on 15. A birdie on the final hole earned him an opening round of 65.
"It's a great start for the season," Besseling said. "I'm very happy with my 65 today. I had it going nicely on the par-fives. I was able to get there in two with irons and converted the birdies, and an eagle on 15 really helped."
He was among the many players who welcomed the history-making decision to play this tournament in shorts due to a scorching heatwave which has visited this part of the country.
"Definitely a nice change. I mean, the first time ever on tour wearing shorts in a tournament round, and probably this is the place to do it."
Tied for second is the trio of England's Garrick Porteous, Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal and local man, Keith Horne, who all signed for 66s.
Porteous' six-under-par 66 was bogey-free while Larrazabal had five birdies, a bogey and an eagle on his card. Horne’s round consisted of seven birdies and a bogey.
"I'm very pleased," said Horne of his work in round one. "I've been playing pretty solidly but in the last month or so, very unhappy with my game. Came back early from Asia and did some work in those two weeks and I’'m very happy with the result, that work paid off."
65 - Wil Besseling
66 - Garrick Porteous, Pablo Larrazabal, Keith Horne
67 - Alejandro Canizares
68 - Daniel van Tonder, Jack Singh Brar, David Drysdale, Branden Grace, Robin Roussel, Grant Forrest, Thomas Aiken
69 - Jaco Van Zyl, Martin Rohwer, Rhys Enoch, Adrian Meronk, Adrian Otaegui, Matthew Jordan, Connor Syme
70 - Charl Schwartzel, Marcus Armitage, Justin Harding, Richard Sterne, Adilson Da Silva, Ruan Conradie, Toby Tree, Joel Sjoholm
71 - Hennie du Plessis, Francesco Laporta, Laurie Canter, Eddie Pepperell, Vaughn Groenewald, Alex Haindl, Dylan Naidoo, Matthieu Pavon, Jack Harrison, Deon Germishuys, Adrien Saddier, Christiaan Basson
72 - Daniel Greene, Pedro Figueiredo, Clement Sordet, MJ Viljoen, David Law, Lee Slattery, Doug McGuigan, Garrick Higgo, Wilco Nienaber, Aaron Cockerill, James Hart du Preez, JC Ritchie, Johannes Veerman, Jose-Filipe Lima, Rasmus Hojgaard, Gregory Havret, Zander Lombard, Brandon Stone, Jaco Ahlers, Soren Kjeldsen, James Morrison, Mark Williams, Niklas Lemke
73 - Calum Hill, Jacques Blaauw, Oliver Wilson, Jayden Schaper, Jean Hugo, Jake Redman, Steve Surry, Jacques P de Villiers, Oliver Bekker, Dean Burmester, Oliver Fisher, Benjamin Poke, George Coetzee, Haydn Porteous
74 - Jake Mcleod, Jonathan Caldwell, Thomas Bjorn, Bryce Easton, Neil Schietekat, Lorenzo Gagli, Stephen Ferreira, Lars van Meijel, Renato Paratore, Peter Karmis, Ross Fisher, Antoine Rozner, Ernie Els, Edoardo Molinari, Carlos Pigem, Callum Mowat, Julien Guerrier
75 - Jeff Winther, Matias Calderon, Trevor Fisher Jnr, Marcel Siem, Ruan de Smidt, Louis de Jager, Basil Wright, Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez, Richard Mcevoy, Madalitso Muthiya, Darren Fichardt, Pieter Moolman
76 - Jake Roos, Oliver Farr, Jean-Paul Strydom, Toto Thimba, Heinrich Bruiners, Keenan Davidse, Justin Walters, Alexander Bjork, Darius van Driel, Richard Bland, Merrick Bremner
77 - Hugo Leon, Robin Sciot-Siegrist, Philip Eriksson, Tyrone Ferreira, Luke Jerling, Jaco Prinsloo, Ben Stow, Kyle Barker, Thriston Lawrence, Sami Valimaki, Rupert Kaminski
78 - Ockie Strydom, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Benjamin Follett-Smith, Dale Whitnell, JJ Senekal, David Howell, Chris Swanepoel, Clinton Grobler, Riekus Nortje, Gonzalo Fdez-Castano, Hennie Otto, Anton Haig
79 - Garth Mulroy, Ricardo Santos, Combrinck Smit, Keelan van Wyk, Tyrone Ryan
80 - Lyle Rowe, Cormac Sharvin, Yubin Jung, Dylan Kok, Jacquin Hess, Jack Senior, Michael Palmer
83 - Caylum Boon, Anthony Michael
84 - Teaghan Gauche
85 - Rourke van der Spuy
86 - Andre De Decker
- Sunshine Tour