Branden Grace enjoyed an eagle frenzy on the opening day of the BMW SA Open at Glendower GC near Johannesburg, as he earned a share of the first-round lead with Chase Koepka.
Koepka, the younger brother of 2017 US Open champion Brooks, carded an eagle and seven birdies to go with two bogeys. 2, 8 and 15 - as he bids for a ninth European Tour title and to complete the set of wins at his native South Africa's three most prestigious events.
Nearly two months ago to the day Branden Grace shot a 66 in the final round at Sun City to capture the Nedbank Golf Challenge and on Thursday he was at it again, firing a stunning 65 to grab a share of the lead after the first round of the 107th edition of the BMW SA Open at Glendower.
'I can't remember when, or if, I've ever made three eagles in a round but it was fun, ' said Grace, who eagled the second, eighth and 15th, all of them par fives.
Grace, the highest-ranked player in the field at No.30 in the world, also recorded three birdies and two bogeys as he attacked the pins, particularly on the front nine. "I was a little bit rusty with some of the wedge shots and things like that but all in all very pleased with the outcome and I think I pretty much got the most out of that round".
"Inside 150 yards, I was really good today", he said.
"Yeah, it was great".
"I think I played flawless, except for the second shot on the first hole", he said.
"All the par 5s I pretty much hit great tee shots and really gave myself some chances. I then made eagle on the second hole and kept it going from there", said the 23-year-old.
The pair were one shot ahead of England's Chris Paisley, who had seven birdies and a bogey in his round of 66. So, it was big deal to start off my round. Alongside them was Bradley Neil of Scotland and Spain's Nacho Elvira.
A group of four players sits two shots off the lead on a day which saw 79 players break par.
It was not all good going though.
Defending champion Graeme Storm of England, who pipped golf superstar Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland in a play-off a year ago to win the second oldest national championship after the British Open, carded a 75. Former Masters champion and two-time SA Open victor Trevor Immelman also had a day to forget; his seven-over-par 79 likely to see him miss out on weekend play.