Neil Schietekat carded a three-under-par 70 on the Lusaka Golf Club layout to move to nine-under-par and the 54-hole lead of the Zambia Sugar Open.

Theunis Spangenberg made 22 putts to card a superlative 62 at Nkana Golf Club on Thursday, where he set up a three-shot lead in the first round of the Mopani Copper Mines Zambia Open.

“I had 22 putts today and that made all the difference, but I also hit the ball fairly straight and stayed calm,” Spangenberg said.

“It’s nice to be playing well and now I need to keep it going.”

The 31-year-old started on the back nine and realised he was going low when he chipped in for eagle from off the green at the 17th.

The scoring didn’t stop and he went on to reach the clubhouse on 10-under-par, three shots clear of Wallie Coetsee and Jacques Kruyswijk.

“On the par-five 17th I hit a really good shot in there and then chipped it in for eagle.

“That took me to five-under and I knew there were more chances out there, so I kept attacking the holes. Once I got into double figures I wanted to stay there, so it was quite important that I made birdie at the last hole.”

Thursday’s 62 was the best professional round that Spangenberg has carded in nine years on tour, and it came at a course that has been labelled as tough and tight.

“I’ll take 10-under any day, especially on a course like this, which everyone thinks is tight.

“I played well in the pro-am a couple of days ago and it seems to have continued.”