62 carries Santos to Africa Open first-round lead

Ricardo Santos earned the first-round lead at the European Tour's 2014 Africa Open (shown here during the World Cup of Golf in November).

With a 9-under 62, Ricardo Santos opened up a two-shot lead during the first round of the European Tour's Africa Open.

Bogey free for the day, Santos' round featured two sets of three consecutive birdies – at Nos. 15-17, then again at Nos. 5-7 at East London (South Africa) GC.

"I'm very pleased to make a run like I did today," said Santos, of Portugal, the tour's 2012 rookie of the year.

Four players are T-2: Lucas Bjerregaard, Richard Bland, Rhys Davies and Garth Mulroy. Among six players T-6 at 6 under are Kent State product John Hahn and Duke product Brinson Paolini.

– Associated Press and European Tour contributed.

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