Sunshine Tour rookie Allan Versfeld had a dream start to his European Challenge Tour career with a five-under-par 66 in the opening round of the Scottish Hydro Challenge at the Macdonald Spey Valley Golf Resort in Aviemore.
The opening round was led by a course record 63 from local Chris Doak, with Swede Jesper Kennegard in second with his six-under 65.
Versfeld was alone in third, with fellow- Sunshine Tour professional Darryn Lloyd Â who lives most of the year in England Â in a share of fourth with his four-under-par total of 67.
Versfeld currently leads the 2011 Sunshine Tour Rookie of the Year race off the back of his top 10 finish in the Joburg Open in January behind Charl SchwartzelÂs victory.
His share of seventh came in his first professional tournament after he finished second in the 2011 Sunshine Tour Q-School in Bloemfontein last December.
The Johannesburg performance was one of two top 10s he has achieved on the Sunshine Tour this year. His second came in the Vodacom Origins of Golf event at Pretoria Country Club last month when he shared fourth behind champion Jean Hugo.
He started his round in Aviemore well, with birdies on the second and third. Two more on seven and eight saw him through nine in 32, but he dropped shots on 11 and 12 before recovering with birdies on 14 and 15.
He closed with a seventh birdie in his opening round on 18.
Jake Roos carded a one-under 70 to start; Branden Grace was one-over, Tyrone Ferreira two-over and Michiel Bothma four-over after the first round.