Derik Ferreira made just one bogey in a sparkling round of 66 on Thursday to play his way into the main draw of the R850,000 Lombard Insurance Classic to be played at the Royal Swazi Spa.
The 23-year-old Centurion Country Club professional has had a relatively lean time of it on the 2011 Sunshine Tour, making just three cuts after a rookie season in 2010 which saw him gain two top 10 finishes and another two top 20s.
His six-under-par tour of the 6,140-metre Royal Swazi Spa course saw him share top spot in the pre-qualifying round with Don Black as they led eight other players into the 72-man field which will play with 72 amateurs in the first two rounds.
Divan Gerber, Derick Petersen, Mark Williams and LesothoÂs Ernest Moloi all carded three-under-par 69s to get into the 54-hole event, with the balance of the 10 qualifiers Â Bryce Easton, Johan Bekker, Michael du Toit and Jake Redman Â all shooting two-under 70.
Ferreira made his single bogey on the fourth after he had birdied the second, and that was to be the last time he faltered as he made six more birdies.
Crucially, three of those came on the four par-fives on the course. He missed out only on the 486-metre seventh, but he made up for that with a great birdie on the tough 17th, where it takes a brave approach shot over the water to hit the green in two.
And in a late twist which altered the final composition of the field, defending champion Grant Muller and rookies Dean OÂRiley and JG Claassen were disqualified for failing to register on time for the tournament.