Jaco van Zyl had moved things along nicely to five-under-par through 13 holes in the first round of the Bankia Madrid Masters when he made a double-bogey five and finished up six shots off the lead.
He compounded the error with a bogey on the seventh Â his 16th of the day after he started his round on the 10th tee, but he limited the damage to those three dropped shots to find himself in a share of 32nd behind the superb opening round of 64 by EnglandÂs Ross McGowan.
McGowan had a one-stroke edge over Australian Brett Rumford, Spaniard Gonzalo Fenandez-Castano and Italian Lorenzo Gagli, while world number one Luke Donald was in a share of 15th after his opening four-under-par 68.
Thomas Aiken was the next best of the South Africans in the field with his one-under 71. His was a round which started so promisingly after he eagled the first, and made two consecutive birdies immediately thereafter.
But a bogey on the fourth was followed by another birdie on five, a bogey on nine and a birdie on 13 before he closed with a double-bogey on 17 and a bogey on 18.
Hennie Otto and Keith Horne each carded level-par 72, while George Coetzee was a shot further back on 73.