George Coetzee carded four birdies on the back nine holes of his first round in the Barclays Scottish Open in Inverness to finish tied for third in the morning field at six-under-par.
In day one of the £3,000,000 event Coetzee shot 66 and finished one shot behind early leaders Lee Westwood and Mark Tullo. Westwood is currently second in the Official World Golf Rankings.
Coetzee opened the day at pace, making birdies on all of his first three holes to move into an early lead at Castle Stuart Golf Links.
A bogey on the fourth and Coetzee began to wobble, thereafter carding just one par amongst a further two bogeys and two birdies on his front nine.
The Pretoria Country Club professional found his composure after making the turn, carding par on the 10th and 11th.
The calmer Coetzee made four birdies without dropping a shot through his final six holes and closed the day tied for third with Swede Peter Hanson.
Fellow South African Retief Goosen opened the tournament with a round of five-under-par 67 and currently lies two shots off the leaders.
Coetzee will need consistent form to win in Scotland, having finished tied for 37th in last weekÂs French Open despite carding an identical opening round of 66.