The three-time European Tour winner played the first leg of the tournament at Kingsbarns, while a round at both Carnoustie and The Old Course at St. Andrews await.
For the 2011 South Africa Open champion the week is young and the lead is some five shots away, but he’s lurking in a share of 18th on three-under-par.
Justin Walters also shared 18th place at the end of day one. He gritted his teeth after beginning the day with a double-bogey at the 10th of Kingsbarns and went on to card 69 courtesy of a 31-stroke second loop.
The 2014 Challenge Tour Graduate of the Year started on the back nine, where birdies at the 12th, 14th and 16th were not enough to cover the ground he was losing and eventually he turned in 38.
To make a comeback on any links course is tough, let alone one as esteemed as Kingsbarns, but Walters was up to the task. He hit it close at the par-three second to make the birdie that fired off a chain reaction.
Further birds at the third and fourth paved the way for him to play with confidence and he went on to birdie the sixth and ninth to finish the day in 69.
Reigning Investec Cup champion Trevor Fisher and 2010 Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen shared 28th place on two-under, while Ernie Els, Thomas Aiken, George Coetzee, Ulrich van den Berg and Keith Horne all tied for 40th on one-under.