Merrick Bremner shoots 64 to lead South African Open at Serengeti
Last Updated: 16/11/12 9:14am
Merrick Bremner: raced out of the blocks
World number 500 Merrick Bremner shot an eight-under 64 to take the lead after day one of the South African Open.
The 26-year-old matched the course record at Serengeti as he opened up a two-shot advantage over fellow South African Matthew Carvell and former Ryder Cup star Henrik Stenson of Sweden.
Despite his lowly ranking, Bremner's performance on the first day wasn't too much of a surprise to the locals who watched him shine for two rounds last year before he went from one back at halfway to 20th at the finish.
First round leaderboard
(Rsa unless stated)
-8 M Bremner
-6 M Carvell
-6 H Stenson (Swe)
-5 C Lee (Sco)
-5 A Haindl
Click here for scores
Back at the same venue, he grabbed six birdies to turn in 30 and took advantage of the two par fives on the inward half to throw down the gauntlet.
"I played fantastically on the first nine - I could have shot 28," he told the Sunshine Tour website.
"I started thinking a bit more and playing clever golf as opposed to using too much aggression, which is what I normally do."
Scotland's Craig Lee, 116th on the European money list in the week that the top 119 will earn cards for next season, eased the pressure with a five-under par 67 highlighted by an eagle two at the 382-yard second.
He will resume in a tie for fourth with Swede Michael Jonzon and South African Alex Haindl.
Major winners Charl Schwartzel and Martin Kaymer recorded 68 and 70 respectively, the German's score being equalled by England's Tommy Fleetwood, 124th on the Order of Merit.
Branden Grace, trying for an incredible sixth win of a season that began with him fresh out of the European qualifying school, managed only a level par 72, the same as Schwartzel's brother Atti.