South African golfer Thriston Lawrence was also six-under and had one hole left to play when players had to come off the course due to the threat of lightning on Thursday.

The Joburg Open, one of 24 events not staged on European soil, is the opening to the new season after the 2021 season ended just last week when Collin Morikawa winning the Race to Dubai title.

The first round will be completed early Friday, with more than a quarter of the 156-man field yet to finish.

Five players were in the clubhouse a stroke behind after shooting rounds of 66, including South Africans Dylan Frittelli and Hennie Du Plessis.