EAST LONDON, South Africa – South Africa’s Thomas Aiken shot a 9-under 64 Thursday at the Africa Open for a one-shot lead after the first round of the European Tour’s season-opening tournament.
Aiken had five birdies and two eagles at the par-73 East London Golf Club for a one-shot lead over South Africans Retief Goosen and Jaco Ahlers.
Welshman Phillip Price, Michael du Toit and Dean O’Riley were two strokes behind the leader.
Goosen, after bogeying his first hole, had nine birdies, including five in a row from Nos. 11-15.
Defending champion Louis Oosthuizen had a 69. The former British Open champion’s six birdies were marred by a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 sixth hole.
Aiken had an early eagle on the par-5 No. 11, his third hole. He added birdies on Nos. 16, 17 and 18.
“I’d call that a memorable start,” said Aiken, who earned his first European Tour win in 2011. “I haven’t taken a cover off a club for two weeks. So I have to say, this is a great result.”