Sebastian Heisele fired five birdies on his back nine to to grab a share of the clubhouse lead early on day one of the tri-sanctioned AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.
The German, who regained his European Tour card at Qualifying School earlier in the month, posted an opening 66 at Heritage Golf Club to join fellow morning starter Louis de Jager on five under par.
The pair were in a tie for second alongside afternoon starter Miguel Tabuena, two strokes behind leader Arjun Atwal, who fired an eagle and five birdies in his first 14 holes to get to seven under on Thursday afternoon.
South African quintet Louis Oosthuizen, George Coetzee, Oliver Bekker, Teaghan Gauche and Jbe Kruger were a single shot further back alongside Swede Pontus Widegren and Frenchmen Romain Langasque and Joël Stalter after making the most of favourable scoring conditions in the morning.
Heisele bounced back from a bogey at the third by picking up a shot at the short fifth to reach the turn in 35 strokes.
I got going on the back nine and I am pleased to pick up five shots on the back - Sebastian Heisele
And the 29 year old's first round came to life after the turn as he made four gains in five holes from the 11th to move into a tie for the lead.
After De Jager had made back-to-back birdies at the 16th and 17th to get to six under, Heisele tapped in his birdie putt from close range at the last to get within a shot of the South African.
And he found himself back in a share of the lead when De Jager's par putt at the 18th slid just by.
Heisele was happy with his opening round. He said: "I'm very pleased with my round.
"My front nine was a bit of a nightmare to be honest. I didn't really feel too comfortable but slowly found something that worked for me.
"I got going on the back nine and I am pleased to pick up five shots on the back."
De Jager opened his round with a bogey but was soon in the red numbers courtesy of birdies at the second, fifth and sixth holes.
After picking up further shots at the tenth and 14th, De Jager stormed into a two-shot lead when he reeled off birdies at the 16th and 17th.
But his closing bogey, coupled with a birdie at the last from Heisele saw his two-stroke advantage evaporate.
De Jager said: "I'm pleased with the score today. It was quite calm this morning, so the score was up there.
"At the first and last holes I made two bogeys but the 16 holes in between I played lovely, so I'm really pleased.
"It's always a special place to come to, so we’re really enjoying it."
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