In a field of local legends, Christiaan Basson marched to the beat of his own drum, firing an 8-under 64 to lead the Alfred Dunhill Championships by three strokes on Thursday.
Basson, who missed the cut at all five of his European Tour events in 2015, last played a full tournament in December of 2014, when he finished tied for 33rd at last year’s Dunhill Championships.
On Thursday, he never missed a beat, knocking in four birdies on the front nine and four more on the back. Not all of the field finished the round, as play was suspended late in the afternoon because of inclement weather.
Basson’s lead is three over a trio of players – Zimbabwe’s Mark Williams, England’s Matt Ford, and South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel, who has won the tournament thrice previously.
Schartzel has one hole left to finish for his first round. He overcame back-to-back bogeys on No. 7 and 8 by running of three straight birdies on 14-16.