Iain Pyman maintained the good form he showed in Portugal last week by firing a six-under-par 65 in the opening round of the Tusker Kenya Open in Nairobi.
After a warm day punctuated by an afternoon thunderstorm which delayed play for 45 minutes, the 26-year-old Englishman from Leeds shares the lead with Sweden's Jorgen Aker, a stroke ahead of Dutchman Maarten Lafeber, Carlos Larrain of Venezuela, and Raphael Eyraud of France.
Pyman, who lost his Tour card last year, finished joint 19th in last week's Portuguese Open at Penina and is looking for a speedy return to the European Tour. On this form he could do it. After starting at the 10th tee at Muthaiga he was out in 33 with birdies at the 16th and 18th but played even better coming home.
Despite a bogey-five at the first, he bounced back with birdies at the third and fourth before moving to five under with an eagle at the sixth. A further birdie at the eighth brought him home in 32 for his 65.
Aker, the 30-year-old from Stockholm, is playing his first tournament of the year but hit everything close. He was out in 34 with two birdies and kept a bogey off his card by covering the back nine in 31 with four more birdies. He has been working indoors back home in Sweden and credits his good form to the Tour's MacGregor Week at San Roque in January, which he describes as 'fantastic'.
Larrain would have led on his own but he double-bogeyed the 18th, a comparatively easy par-five in his 66. The 33-year-old from Caracas has an amazing record in Venezuela having won 10 of 15 tournaments and been second four times.
That wasn't surprising as he went out in 29 strokes with an eagle and five birdies. Further birdies came at 10 and 16 but he dropped shots at 14 and 15 before tripping up at the last when he hooked his second shot into the trees. He could only hack out then pitched into a greenside trap before holing out in seven for an inward 37.
Among those on 67 is Greig Hutcheon, the Kent-based Scot, who carded four birdies and no bogeys. But fellow Scot Euan Little was disqualified for playing his ball on the 14th after it had been thrown back from the out of bounds.
Leading 1st round scores (GB&I unless stated)
Par 71 (36/35)
65 I Pyman, J Aker (Swe)
66 M Lafeber (Hol), C Larrain (Ven), R Eyraud (Fra)
67 L Alexandre (Fra), C Van der Velde (Hol), J Kiondo (Ken), J Skold (Swe), G Hutcheon
68 E Andersson (Swe), R Bain, A Barnett, A Butterfield, E Carlberg (Swe), S Daniels (SA), B Dredge, M Eliasson (Swe), J Hawksworth, B Lincoln (SA), D Lynn, S Mwanyenza (Tan), T Nielsen (Nor), J Okello (Ken)
69 D Higgins, F Howley, S Hurd, P Jacobson (Swe), G Pietrobono (It), O Rojahn (Nor), K Storegaard (Den), N Vanhootegem (Bel), L Westerberg (Swe)