Back in South Africa for the first time since finishing second in the Nedbank Challenge at the end of last season, Scott Jamieson made the best start among seven Scots competing in the Tshwane Open.
Jamieson, who is making his second transatlantic trip of the year from his new family base in Florida, carded six birdies as he opened with a four-under-par 67 at Waterkloof, where home player Louis De Jager set the pace following his bogey-free 64.
It was Jamieson’s best opening round so far this season and also his lowest score, having made the cut in three out of four events, which included a top-20 finish in the Maybank Championship in Malaysia.
South Africa specialist David Drysdale finished birdie-birdie-par-eagle as he signed for a 69, one better than both Connor Syme and Grant Forrest, who started the day as first reserve but got in when Daisuke Kataoke pulled out due to an injury.
Duncan Stewart had a 71 while both Bradley Neil and Doug McGuigan had to settle for 72s as De Jager birdied three of his last four holes to sit a shot ahead of compatriot Thomas Aiken, American Julian Suri and Felipe Aguilar of Chile.
Elsewhere in the Rainbow Nation, Scottish duo John Paterson and Euan Walker had their brave runs in the Sanlan South African Amateur Championship ended in the semi-finals at Durban Country Club.
Paterson (New Club St Andrews) lost 2&1 to host club player Chris Woollam following a ding-dong battle beside the Indian Ocean while Walker of Kilmarnock (Barassie) went down at the second extra hole to another South African, Deon Germishuys.
Scots have won the event four times in the last seven years through Michael Stewart (2011), Brian Soutar (2012), Daniel Young (2015) and Craig Ross (2016).