American Johannes Veerman birdied nine holes in an error-free round of 62 to take a one-shot lead after a low-scoring first day of the European Tour's South African Open at Randpark Golf Club.
The 27-year-old from Texas on Thursday continued his bright start to his debut season on the European Tour, as he came home in a blistering finish with four birdies in his last four holes to take an early clubhouse lead.
Veerman is one shot ahead of Italian Nino Bertasio, who held the joint lead after an eagle at the 17th but dropped a shot on the final hole, and South African JC Ritchie.
Sam Horsfield of England, and the home trio of Brandon Grace, Toto Thimba and Rourke van der Spuy are part of a group of six players a further shot back after shooting 64.
Van der Spuy eagled the 18th, preceded by three straight birdies, as he also finished strongly.
Defending champion Louis Oosthuizen, who began his run to last year's title with a first round 62, was in a group of 11 players on 65.
The group included Rasmus Hojgaard of Denmark, who has already won on this season's Tour when he triumphed in the Mauritius Open in December.
It also includes Australian David Micheluzzi, who sunk seven birdies in his opening round, while compatriot Min Woo Lee was a further shot back after making three birdies and an eagle on the back nine.
Australians Jarryd Felton and Maverick Antcliff were a further shot back on 67, while Brett Rumford recorded an opening 69.
Some 240 players are competing over two courses in the championship, which was first played in 1903.