South Africa's Jaco van Zyl carded a flawless seven-under 65 at the Mauritius Open on Thursday. Photo: Reuters

ANAHITA, Mauritius – The opening round of the Mauritius Open ended with France’s Victor Perez and India’s S Chikkarangappa sharing the lead after they both signed for eight-under 64 at Four Seasons Golf Club at Anahita.

While Chikkarangappa’s round was bogey-free and with eight birdies, Perez’s was a little more eventful as he made nine birdies, which were accompanied by a single bogey in hot conditions in Anahita.

“I’ve been playing a lot of good golf lately,” said Perez, who is a graduate of the Challenge Tour.

“It’s been a really good streak, sometimes a little hard to believe in golf when we know how the highs and the lows can be.

“I’ll just try to ride this wave for as long as possible.”

He admits that he cannot pinpoint exactly what’s brought about the form he currently enjoys, and especially his solid start to this event which is the world’s first tri-sanctioned event by the Sunshine Tour, the European Tour and the Asian Tour.

“I don’t really know,” he said, “I was just kind of in the zone a little bit.

“Just trying to go shot after shot, but I think there were some opportunities out there with no wind.”

The highest-placing South African after the first round was Jaco van Zyl, who carded a flawless seven-under 65 to take a share of the third spot.

He made three birdies on the front nine to turn in 31. A par and a birdie on the 10th and 11th were followed by five straight pars, before he closed his round with a birdie and an eagle.

“It’s great and it’s always nice to get off to a nice solid start,” said Van Zyl.

“I played nicely and it was a really nice finish. I was four-under, and then I finished birdie-eagle. The course here is in a really good condition.”

Masahiro Kawamura and Kurt Kitayama were tied with Van Zyl on third after they, too, carded bogey-free 65s.

Matthieu Pavon, Malcolm Kokocinski, Matthias Schwab, Lee Slattery, Alex Haindl, the in-form Justin Harding and Oliver Bekker share the sixth spot on five-under-par for the opening round.

Leading First-Round Scores:

64 – Victor Perez, S Chikkarangappa

65 – Jaco van Zyl, Masahiro Kawamura, Kurt Kitayama

67 – Matthieu Pavon, Malcolm Kokocinski, Matthias Schwab, Lee Slattery, Alex Haindl, Justin Harding, Oliver Bekker

68 – Rourke van der Spuy, Jordan Smith, Merrick Bremner, Viraj Madappa, Philip Eriksson, Hyowon Park, Keith Horne, Paul Peterson, Travis Smyth

69 – David Drysdale, George Coetzee, Dylan Frittelli, Tyrone Ryan, Gavin Moynihan, Ajeetesh Sandhu, Berry Henson, Jens Dantorp, Trevor Fisher Jnr, Lionel Weber, Ernie Els

70 – Marcel Siem, Antoine Rozner, Christofer Blomstrand, Kim Koivu, John Catlin, Joel Girrbach, Julien Brun, Siddikur Rahman, Alvaro Quiros, Romain Langasque, Thomas Aiken, Filippo Bergamaschi, Udayan Mane, Grant Forrest, Doug McGuigan, Estiaan Conradie, Jesse Yap, Jbe’ Kruger, Garth Mulroy, Jaco Ahlers, Raphael Jacquelin, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Jose-Filipe Lima, Niall Turner

African News Agency (ANA)