Makhetha Mazibuko closed with his third bogey of the day on the 18th at ERPM Golf Club, but he had done enough to card a five-under-par 67 to take the first-round lead in the Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour Road to the Sunshine Tour #14.
While he might have finished with a bogey, he opened his day with a birdie on the first, and he had picked up two more by the time he reached the fourth. His first bogey came on the fifth, but he followed that up with a birdie on six and he reached the turn in three-under-par 33. He got it to five-under by the 12th, and then he had an eventful rollercoaster ride to the finish, making bogey-birdie-birdie-bogey from the 15th to the 18th.
His 67 was good enough for a one-stroke lead over Zabastian de Jager, Kyle McClatchie and Dwayne Basson, all on four-under 68. They were, in turn, one stroke clear of Luan Boshoff, Ryan van Velzen, Lwazi Gqira and Keelan van Wyk in a share of fifth.
Last week;s winner, Slade Pickering, opened with a one-over 73 to be in a share of 24th.
Mazibuko currently lies in 27th place on the Road to the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit, which is led by Van Velzen. Mazibuko has played in four tournaments, while Van Velzen has played in 19. There are four more tournament in the series after this one, and then there is a three-tournament Big Easy Play Off series from November 8 at Sate Mines, Randpark and Centurion. The top six players after all that will earn their sunshine Tour cards.