"It was one of those rounds where you don't really look at any scoreboard or your card, you just play," he said. "I drove it really well and gave myself good opportunities to hit it close." Oosthuizen was one stroke ahead of Kurt Kitayama of the U.S., who won the Mauritius Open last weekend, and surprise challenger Madalitso Muthiya of Zambia.
Zander Lombard was fourth on 64 while Ernie Els, a five-time winner of the event, opened with a 5-under 66. Els, 49, had a run of five birdies in six holes from the seventh. His last victory at the South African Open was in 2010, and his previous win anywhere on the European Tour came in 2013.
The tournament is being played on the Firethorn Course and the Bushwillow Course. Players will have a round on each before the final 36 holes are held at Firethorn.
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