On a cold and windy day, Moore opened with a bogey-free seven-under-par 65 to head an inexperienced leaderboard behind him by a single stroke.
Heinrich Bruiners is his nearest challenger after a 66, while Johan Bekker made two eagles on his way to a 67.
“I’m very happy with a 65 to start. Bogey free. Solid,” said Moore, speaking like a man who had some business to settle.
“The last two weeks have been a bit disappointing because I haven’t been playing that badly. But this was a nice sign of the way I feel I’ve been playing.”
Moore’s brute strength helped him power his way through missing several fairways, and recovering with some incredible iron play.
“I was able to hit a lot of greens and I had a couple of eagle putts out there as well. So my iron play was really satisfying.”
And if the wind continues to gust as it did on Thursday, the Port Elizabeth professional will be hard to stop.
Behind him, Bruiners also showed his love for the windy conditions when he hit a low three-iron off the first tee on his way to the first birdie of his 66.
He only recently moved up to Johannesburg from George, where he had more than his fair share of golf in the wind.
But this is his first year back after injuring himself in a car accident. “I fractured my femur and was on my back for about two months. It took a lot of hard work to make it through that. I’m just happy to be fit and playing again.”