The Dane shared the day one lead with England’s David Horsey after the pair each went seven shots better than the par of 70 at Pretoria Country Club, host of this week’s €1,5-million tournament.
“For that hole-in-one I hit a fantastic shot, I couldn’t hit it better,” said Madsen. “It’s really special to have one in competition on the European Tour. When you stand on the next tee you’re pretty pumped and confident, but I succeeded in gathering my thoughts and hit a really nice drive and then a great second shot. I played a three-iron approach to 12 feet and then sank it, which was a fantastic way to finish.”
The 2013 South African Open Championship winner has always done well on local soil and Thursday was no different. He made a lone bogey at the fourth, but outside of that it was excellence from the 26-year-old.
“I think that I feel comfortable coming down here. I enjoy being here, the weather, the people, the cities and the golf courses. It’s about feeling happy and that’s the secret,” he said.
Co-leader Horsey strung together a flawless 63 with completely different tactics.
“This place demands a bit more than just long hitting. It’s nice to play golf courses that make you think a bit more than just taking driver on every tee. I plotted my way around, because it’s very much a positional golf course. On the whole I’m very pleased with today’s work,” he said.
The Englishman drained plenty of long putts and helped himself to seven birdies during the first round, which set him into tie for the lead at the close of round one.
“The greens were probably worse than this morning, but I just hit putts on the lines that I chose, at the right pace, and fortunately a few of them dropped.
“I know the stuff I’m working on is headed in the right direction now and it’s starting to blossom, hopefully I can keep it up for the rest of the week,” he said.
Wallie Coetsee was the leading South African on Thursday and hovered one shot off the pace. The Jeffreys Bay local carded 64 to share third alongside Australia’s Brett Rumford.
“If you enjoy golf like me then there is no pressure. I love it out here and want to compete. I can’t wait for next week for the Investec Cup. It’s nice to be here, it’s special,” said Coetsee, who tied for second place at the Joburg Open a fortnight ago.