JC Ritchie was one of two South Africans to grab a share of the first-round lead of the Challenge Tour’s Empordà Challenge at Empordà Golf in Girona, Spain as he carded a six-under-par 65 in the opening round.
He made seven birdies and a bogey in his round, and he shared the lead with four other players, including Jacques Blaauw who had eight birdies and two bogeys in his round. Together with Scotland’s Craig Howie, and Frenchmen Julien Brun and Ugo Coussaud, they had a one-stroke lead over 11 other players.
Hennie du Plessis carded a two-under 69 to be in a share of 35th, while Oliver Bekker had a level-par 71 to open for a share of 63rd. Bryce Easton, the other South African in the field, signed for a one-over 72 and a share of 78th.