Scotland's George Murray went to the turn in a four under par 31 to share the early lead in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopards Creek in South Africa.
The 28 year old, who all but secured his European Tour card with a brilliant third place finish in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews last month, was alongside South Africans Merrick Bremner, Josh Cunliffe and Jbe’ Kruger.
Murray birdied the first three holes, added another at the sixth and came back from a bogey two holes later with a further birdie on the next.
England's Jamie Elson and Seve Benson, Welshman Liam Bond and another home player, Garth Mulroy, were a stroke behind.
Kruger took over at the top with a five foot birdie putt at the second - one of three birdies on his inward nine that lifted him to seven under par.
He was joined by Benson, who is playing this season on a medical exemption following a back problem.
At 163rd on The Race to Dubai the 25 year old needs a big finish to the season to retain his card, and four birdies in five holes from the tenth gave him a good chance of doing just that.
Bond, Murray, and the latter’s compatriot Alan McLean were tied third on five under as they reached the closing holes.