Jaco van Zyl has had a bit of a struggle on the European Tour so far this year, but in the stifling heat of the opening round of the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco, he put together an opening round of four-under-par 67.
It put him in a share of fifth with six other players, including compatriot George Coetzee Â a player who is also a Telkom PGA Championship winner back in South Africa.
The event is played over two courses ahead of the cut, and Van Zyl played his opening round on the par-72 Golf du Palais Royal Â the same course on which leader Peter Lawrie of Northern Ireland carded an eight-under 64.
CoetzeeÂs four-under was a 67 Â achieved on the par-71 Golf de LÂOcean.
Van Zyl missed the cut in his opening two events in Europe after he began his European campaign with a solid 27th in the South African Open Championship and a fine fourth in the Africa Open.
He gained his European Tour card at the Qualifying School in Spain last December, and struggled to get under par in the Sicilian Open and the Open de Andalucia Â although he managed to get things on track with his second-round 69 in the Spanish event last week.
Two bogeys in his opening round in Morocco were still a bit of a worry for him, but a 68 has put him in a position to comfortably make the cut and then try to challenge over the weekend.
Keith Horne carded a two-under 69 at Golf de LÂOcean, while Shaun Norris was one-under on the same course. Hennie Otto battled there with a one-over 72.