Louis Oosthuizen is leading his home South African Open after carding a nine-under-par 62 in the first round in Johannesburg.
Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion, is leading leading the South African Open by a shot after a nine-under-par 62 in the first round.
Oosthuizen, playing his home Open for the first time in eight years on Thursday, made a brilliant start at Randburg Golf Club in Johannesburg with nine birdies, including six in an eight-hole surge on the back nine, and no bogeys.
He ended one stroke ahead of American Kurt Kitayama, who won the Mauritius Open last weekend, and surprise challenger Madalitso Muthiya of Zambia.
Zander Lombard was fourth on 64 while Ernie Els, a five-time winner of the event, opened with a five-under 66.
Els, 49, had a run of five birdies in six holes from the seventh. His last victory at the South African Open was in 2010, and his previous win anywhere on the European Tour came in 2013.
The best ranked Australian is Dimitrios Papadatos, who shot a one-under-par 70 to put himself into 62nd and eight shots, while Deyen Lawson was 122nd after a one-over 72 in his opening round.
Nick Cullen and David Gleeson were level in 91st after both carded four-over-par 75s.
Meanwhile, Jake Higginbottom was down in 231st after a disasterous eight-over-par 79.
The tournament is being played on the Firethorn Course and the Bushwillow Course. Players will have a round on each before the final 36 holes are held at Firethorn.