EKURHULENI, South Africa, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Merrick Bremner fired a course record 8-under-par 64 Thursday in taking a two-stroke lead at the European Tour's South African Open Championship.
Bremner, No. 500 in the world rankings, was 6-under in his first nine holes for the lead. His 64 represented a record at the Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate course. While he's yet to win a tournament, Bremner has been a hit player of late, posting top three finishes in his last two tournaments.
Matthew Carvell and Henrik Stenson are tied for second at 6-under while Craig Lee and Alex Haindl were in fourth at 5-under 67 after the first round.
Bremner, Carvell and Haindl are all from South Africa.
Carvell's round included two bogeys but he ran off three consecutive late birdies to keep close to Bremner. Stenson opened with back-to-back birdies and moved up with an eagle 2 at the 375-yard 17th hole.
Bremner also opened play with birdies at Nos. 1 and 2 and added another at No. 4. He had birdies on the seventh, eighth and ninth holes in making the turn at 6-under. Birdies at 11 and 16 allowed him to own the lead after the first round.