Dean Burmester produced some vintage play, including a drive of 396 yards on the 18th, to storm to the top of the leaderboard at the Alfred Dunhill Championship.
The South African is one of the biggest hitters in the game, and he gobbled up the par-fives on the back nine to propel himself to seven-under.
Burmester carded eight birdies, including the 18th after a monstrous tee shot of 396 yards, to sign for a 65.
“What a back nine,” Burmester said. “Some of the best I have played in a little while.
“It was very tricky. We had three clubs (of wind) at times and then nothing.”
Burmester is one shot clear of Lucas Nemecz who was one of the early starters to post a good score.
The 11th is one of the most daunting par-fives in golf, but it proved to be a stroll for Burmester who hit a glorious approach to set up a birdie.
First Round Leaderboard
- 1. Dean Burmester, seven-under
- 2. Lucas Nemez, six-under
- T3. Branden Grace, five-under
- T3 Darren Fichardt, five-under
- T3. Jaco Ahlers, five-under
- T3. David Ravetto, five-under
- T3. Dean Germishuys, five-under
Branden Grace, the winner of the event in 2014, put himself in contention after a round of 67 – and he was delighted to get back on home soil.
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“It is always nice to come back to South Africa and play here,” Grace said. “You go to places you really want to play well at.
“I will never forget the day I won at St Andrews, lifting the trophy there and coming here a couple of years later and doing it here.
“And it is just nice to come back to South Africa and play well, which is what we all want, and it was nice to shoot a low one today.”
Charl Schwartzel is a four-time winner of the Alfred Dunhill Championship, but has work to do after an opening round of 74. He was two-under on the 18th tee, but a trip into the water resulted in a double-bogey seven, which was later changed to a quadruple-bogey nine following a rules infringement.
Louis Oosthuizen hit more bad shots in his opening round than he would in an entire tournament, but was able to get round in 70 to sit at two-under.
One of his better shots was his approach on 18, but it took a hard bounce and rolled through the green and into the water to sum up his opening 18 holes.
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