Sir Nick Faldo rolled back the years at the BMW SA Open hosted by City of Ekurhuleni and then set his sights on making his first cut on the European Tour since 2007.
The six-time Major Championship winner has not played regularly on Tour since 2004 but looked like he had never been away at Glendower Golf Club as he posted a two under par 70 to sit just four shots off the lead in a share of 27th after day one.
The 59 year old opened with a bogey but turned in 36 after a birdie on the seventh and then sent the sizeable crowd wild with back-to-back gains on the 15th and 16th to sit in a group that included fellow Ryder Cup Captain and Major winner Darren Clarke.
Faldo showed glimpses of the brilliance that brought him 30 European Tour wins and while admitting it was hard work at times, was glad to prove he could still perform at the top level.
"It's enjoyable when you play well but it's a test when you are constantly trying to make sure that everything is swinging towards the target," he said.
"I had one bad swing that woke me up and made me push my way through some more shots and I am pleased with that.
"I know what I can do and how to do it but actually doing it is hard work. I have been working on my swing which is this little fade and I am basically testing myself to see if I can do it for the whole round.
"I would love to make the cut, that was the first goal.
I know I can shoot that sort of round so I've just got to keep doing the same thing - Sir Nick Faldo
"I know I can shoot that sort of round so I've just got to keep doing the same thing and play as solid as I can. If I play solid and put the ball in the right places I think I could shoot the same again."
The former World Number One has recently lost 20 pounds after being diagnosed with sleep apnoea and is happy to be keeping himself in shape six months short of his 60th birthday.
"I'm in decent fettle," he added. "I was told to lose some weight because I had mild sleep apnoea so I have been on a low carb diet for about three months and have managed to get rid of 20 pounds which is great.
"I enjoy trying to stay fit so I am just trying to keep this old body moving."
|3||SMITH, Jordan L||ENG||18||-17|
|T5||FISHER JNR, Trevor||RSA||18||-14|