He made just one bogey and six birdies in a round that got underway late on the Eye of Africa layout thanks to bad weather on the opening day which delayed the finish of the first round – and the second round will also be delayed as organisers struggle to make up lost time.
“It’s a bit start-stop out there,” he said. “You kind of lose your rhythm a bit. But I feel like I played pretty well in each session, I guess. I just tried to get something going and then keep going. I’m not sure that getting round two done without any breaks necessarily helped me get the 67 today.
“It was very tidy out there. I didn’t really waste many shots. It was good. I just made the one bogey, when my hand slipped on the club on the seventh because of sweat, and then I couldn’t get it up and down.
“The course is really good. The greens are lovely – really smooth and with a nice pace. With the rain, the greens are pretty soft so you can be quite aggressive into almost all of the pins. There’s the odd one you have to stay away from, but by and large you can just go for it.”
Phelan played in the 2013 US Open Championship while still an amateur and made the cut at Merion Golf Club. Later that year he played in the Walker Cup and won two points from three, and made his professional debut in the KLM Open in September, again making the cut.
He trailed Ockie Strydom by one when he finished his second round.