Richard Sterne and Maximilian Kiefer lead after the first round of the Joburg Open

Last Updated: 08/02/13 9:08am

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Richard Sterne: Followed up last week's fine finish with a 63

Richard Sterne: Followed up last week's fine finish with a 63

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In-form Richard Sterne was joined by German Maximilian Kiefer in the lead after round one of the Joburg Open.

South African Sterne, second in Dubai last week, fired a flawless 63 on the West Course as did the unheralded rookie Kiefer.

First round leaderboard

SA unless stated
-8 R Sterne
-8 M Kieffer (Ger)
-7 B Easton

Click here for collated scores

Sterne won the event in 2008 and admitted he felt comfortable on the course once again.

"I had three good rounds on the East Course that year. If I can do that now, I'll have a chance on Sunday," said the 31-year-old.

"Some days it feels good and everything kind of happens. Golf is a strange game and you have to hit the right shots at the right time. I hit 17 greens today and was never in trouble."

Norway's Espen Kofstad would have joined them in an overnight share of the lead were it not for a horror final hole. He was tied with the pacesetters until a three-over-par seven on the West Course's last threw him back down the leaderboard.

South Africa's Bryce Easton is third, a hole-in-one helping him to an East Course record 65, while eight players are together on six under.

American Peter Uihlein and Sweden's Joakim Lagergren are the two non-South Africans in the group, while England's Ross McGowan is on five under, along with 12 other players.

Charl Schwartzel is sitting on four under, the 2011 Masters champion resting just off the pace after five birdies and a bogey on the East Course.

It was a bad day for England's Richard McEvoy, though, who went round in eight over, one worse than compatriot Nick Dougherty and three worse than Scotland's Alastair Forsyth.

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