Bernd Wiesberger fired an opening round of 67 to take a one-shot lead into day two of the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player.
The Austrian was part of a seven-strong group at the top of the leaderboard heading into the closing stages of day one at Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, but an approach to four feet on the last saw him break out of the pack and get to five under.
Scotland's Scott Jamieson was a shot off the lead after signing for a 68 along with France's Victor Dubuisson, South African Branden Grace and American Julian Suri.
Englishman Graeme Storm - already a winner in South Africa this season - was then in a group at three under that also contained 2011 Masters winner Charl Schwartzel, defending champion Alex Noren and Japan's Hideto Tanihara.
Shane Lowry closed with a level par 72 to lead the Irish challenge, with Padraig Harrington and Paul Dunne both on two over after rounds of 74.
Wiesberger made the turn in level par, but three birdies in a row from the tenth catapulted him up the leaderboard. He bogeyed the 13th but picked the shot straight back up before chipping in at the 16th and making his closing gain.
"It wasn't easy to be honest," he told Sky Sports Golf. "It was quite breezy, quite steady direction-wise but still the course is quite tricky off the tees. You want to get a lot of fairways to be able to attack the flags and that's quite challenging when there's gusty winds.
"But I played all right. I've not had great success when I was here last time, but I approached it with a neutral mind and I played a lot better than I have the last couple of weeks and putted good. I took a couple of chances so that was nice, to get out there kind of relaxed and just let it happen."
Jamieson had six birdies and two bogeys in his round of 68.
"It was a mixed bag, really," he told Sky Sports Golf. "A few more good ones than bad ones. I didn't play the par-fives particularly well until the ninth hole, our last hole. That was nice to make a birdie. You always want to be under on the par-fives here when you can reach most of them."
Storm had a an eagle, four birdies, a bogey and a double-bogey in his round.
Fellow Englishman Tommy Fleetwood will secure the Race to Dubai title with a win this week but he stumbled to an opening 73.