(CNN) -- South African Thomas Aiken carded a nine-under-par 64 to lead the way after the first round of the Africa Open in East London.
Aiken was in the very first group out and he lead from the start, carding two eagles and five birdies to hold a one-stroke advantage from Retief Goosen and Jaco Ahlers.
Michael Du Toit and Dean O'Riley are another shot behind on 66 along with Welshman Phillip Price, the only non-South African in the top six.
Aiken admitted he was surprised with his round, telling the official European Tour website: "I wasn't really expecting that after two weeks without touching a club.
"It was a great morning and the scoring conditions were good. It was out there for the taking and luckily I hit some really good shots and made putts," he added.
Double U.S. Open champion Goosen bogeyed the opening hole, but recovered on the back nine with a run of five successive birdies.
Meanwhile, defending champion and 2010 British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen posted an opening round of 69 to lie five strokes off the pace.
The Africa Open is the first tournament in the 2012 Race to Dubai, which was won last year by England's Luke Donald.