Australia’s Andrew Dodt needed just 21 putts in testing conditions to claim the lead after the first round of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.
Dodt carded an eagle, six birdies and two bogeys at a windy Four Seasons Golf Club to finish six under par, two shots ahead of India’s Rashid Khan and Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh.
Korea’s Jeunghun Wang, who won his maiden European Tour title in Morocco on Sunday, carried on where he left off in Rabat with a 69 to share fourth place with Argentina’s Tani Goya, while defending champion George Coetzee returned a 71.
Dodt, 30, said: “If someone offered me six under at the start of the day, I’d have taken it. It’s not easy out there. If you’re off by just a little bit it gets magnified by the wind. I played really solidly. I didn’t make many mistakes and the momentum of the round just kept flowing.
“Knocking those six-footers in for par just keeps the momentum going. I did hole some key putts today.
“Then on 11 I went in the fairway bunker and hit a seven iron out to about two feet. It just got to the round off on the right note and it continued from there.
“It was pretty breezy and when you get out to three, four and five you’re right on the beach and more exposed. I hit an eight iron from 96 metres at one stage. I haven’t done that before.
“When you play well the conditions don’t really matter and I think that’s what happened today. Having said that, this course can bite you at any stage, so there’s a long way to go and a lot of golf to be played.”