South African player Merrick Bremner fired his way to the top of the leader board at the close of day one in this year's KCB Karen Masters tournament at the Karen Country Club on Thursday.
Bremner, who is attached to the Els Club-Copperleaf, produced the day's lowest score of seven under par 65, to lead the field of 156 into Friday's second round.
And his score would have been even lower if he did not drop three shots at the third and seventh holes.
He had picked up an early birdie at the par five-second, and added one at the fifth. The two bogeys however denied him an under score in the outward nine, though he managed to pick himself up by producing birdies at the start of the home nine.
There after, it was birdie after a birdie with two back-to-back at the 12th and 13th, before adding two more at the 15th and 18th for his narrow one-shot lead from former Johnnie Walker Classic champion Anton Haig, who had held on with a six-under-par lead until the arrival of Bremner.
Haig, who played in the Karen Challenge of 2002 as 15-year-old, birdied five of the first nine holes for a low five under 31,with only one bogey at the seventh.
At the back nine, Haig made birdies at the 12th, 15th and at the 18th, to remain a shot clear of Ruan Conradie and Roberto Lupini, who both caddied five under par 67 to position themselves closer to the leader going into the second round of about Sh15 million where the winner will take Sh2.4 million.
Also joining the leader board on day one were J.J.Senekal, Daniel van Tonder, Kenya's Stefan Andersen, Vincent Torgah of Ghana and former Kenya Open champion Jake Roos.
The field of 156 players including six amateurs will tee off at 7am.
The leader board; (All South Africa unless stated)
Merrick Bremner 65
Anton Haig 66
Ruan Conradie 67
Roberto Lupini 67
J.J. Senekal 68
Daniel van Tonder 68
Stefan Andersen(Ken) 68
Vincent Torgah(Gha) 68
Louis de Jager 68
Musiwalo Nethunzwi 68
Jakes Roos 68