Louis Oosthuizen overcame a bout of kidney stones to end day one of the Nedbank Golf Challenge three shots clear of the field after a stellar round of 63 (Oosthuizen to win Nedbank outright 4/5).
The 37-year-old endured a far from ideal build-up to the event having been struck down with illness in the build-up and there was a concern that he would not be able to find his best form after missing Wednesday’s Pro-Am event.
However, he got off to a perfect start at the Gary Player Country Club, shooting nine birdies in his opening 18 to end the round bogey-free on nine-under.
His day began with back-to-back birdies before holing a 20 feet putt on the sixth.
Going into the back nine on a score of 32, Oosthuizen then sank another impressive putt at the 11th before another gain on the 12th to give him a two-shot cushion.
The home favourite rolled in another 20 feet putt on the 17th before chipping to three feet at the last to maintain his blemish-free round.
Speaking after entering the clubhouse on 63, Oosthuizen said he is relishing playing at the course.
“I just love this golf course,” he told Sky Sports. “One of my first wins on the Sunshine Tour was here, the Dimension Data, and every time I play here it brings back a lot of good memories.”
He is three shots ahead of Belgian Thomas Detry, who signed for a 66, while Italian Guido Migliozzi, who was the early clubhouse leader, is a shot further behind (Detry 12/1, Migliozzi 20/1).
A win for Oosthuizen in Sun City would take him up to second in the Race to Dubai standings.