England's Daniel Brooks carded a flawless eight-under-par 62 on Wednesday to claim the lead after a weather-delayed first round at the Nelson Mandela Championship in Durban.
The 26-year-old, who has had a largely disappointing rookie campaign this year but retained his European Tour card at Qualifying School last month, surged to the top of the pile with a burst of four birdies in five holes from the eighth.
Simon Thornton and David Higgins are best of the Irish on one under, while Damien McGrane is one over par in the event that started one day early due to the funeral of Nelson Mandela.
Kevin Phelan sits on level par, having only played two holes, while Michael Hoey has yet to start his first round and will be looking to complete 36 holes tomorrow.
Francois Calmels was hot on his heels of the leader thanks to a seven-under 63, with two fellow Frenchmen - Edouard Dubois and Romain Wattel - also in contention after 64s and Sweden's Joel Sjoholm and Zimbabwe's Ryan Cairns joint fifth a further shot back.
The action had got under way seven hours later than scheduled following heavy rain on the Mount Edgecombe Country Club course.
More than half the field were unable to complete their opening rounds, with many - including defending champion Scott Jamieson of Scotland - yet to start.
Play is set to resume at on Thursday at 8am (Irish time).