Jaco Van Zyl continued his good start to the 2016 season as he set the early pace on day one of the BMW SA Open hosted by City of Ekurhuleni.
The home favourite has 13 wins on the Sunshine Tour but is still searching for a maiden European Tour victory, although recent performances suggest that may not be far off.
He was on course for victory at the Turkish Airlines Open in November before a blistering finish from Victor Dubuisson pushed him into second, while he finished in ties for eighth and 13th respectively in the first two events of the campaign before Christmas.
That good form continued at Glendower Golf Club as, after starting on the tenth, he played his first 13 holes in seven under to sit one shot clear of Daniel Brooks.
Van Zyl birdied the tenth and 13th before back-to-back gains on the 15th and 16th saw him turn in 32. A further birdie came on the first and was then followed by an eagle on the par five second to move him to seven under.
Brooks also started on the tenth and got off to a flying start with birdies on his first three holes. Two pars followed but then another run of three gains came from the 15th to the 17th as he turned in 30.
Shaun Norris also made a good start with birdies on the 11th and 12th before an eagle on the 15th catapulted him up the leaderboard. Another birdie came on the 17th but a shot was given back on the next as he turned in 32.
A birdie on the first got him back on track before a dropped shot on the fourth and birdie on the fifth had him five under through 14 holes.
South African Jean Hugo was then a further shot back through 11 holes with countrymen Dylan Frittelli and Michael G Palmer, Nino Bertasio, Laurie Canter and Estanislao Goya all at three under.