Lusaka - Locals from Lusaka Golf Club were surprised on Thursday as Andrew Light charged round the back nine with an eight-under-par 30 on his way to an opening 68 in the R1.2-million Zambia Sugar Open.
The par-73 layout made for a challenging day's play, with low scores hard to come by, but Light made it look easy with three eagles on the three par-fives on the back nine, and ended the day two shots off the pace set by Wallie Coetsee.
"I had a bit of a shocker on the front nine," Light said afterwards.
"But I hit a couple of fairways and hit a couple of really good long-iron shots and I was happy to make the putts."
Light struggled over the opening nine holes, conceding four bogeys, before making his fifth on the blazing back nine.
Light acknowledged that he had benefited from some good fortune on the tournament's opening day.
"I got a bit lucky. I was really close," he said.
"My three eagle putts... one was maybe two metres and the others were three feet.
"I ran those long irons up to the greens and I had a good bounce or two."
He shared second place with Jared Harvey, who came closer than anyone else to matching the bogey-free play of Coetsee.
Harvey made just one bogey, on the 15th, where the pin was stuck away on the right, behind a green-side bunker.
Jean Hugo, PH McIntyre and Jake Redman were in a three-way share of fourth on four-under-par, and there was a large group of seven players in a share of seventh at three-under-par 70.
Light, who is a rookie on the Sunshine Tour, won on the development Sunshine Big Easy Tour at Houghton Country Club in April, and showed his improvement as he battled off the effects of his disastrous start which had three bogeys in his first four holes.
"I just stayed positive," he said.
"Just don’t give in until the last shot.
"I was swinging well, and I thought with four par-fives left, I could bring it back with birdies on each of them.
"It ended up a bit better than that."
Madalitso Muthiya was the leading Zambian player with a well-constructed two-under-par 71 which included three birdies and a single dropped shot on the eighth.
Scores (RSA unless specified):
66 - Wallie Coetsee (RSA)
68 - Jared Harvey (RSA), Andrew Light (RSA)
69 - Jean Hugo (RSA), PH McIntyre (RSA), Jake Redman (RSA)
70 - Neil Schietekat (RSA), Haydn Porteous (RSA), Vaughn Groenewald (RSA), Derick Petersen (RSA), Gideon Pienaar (RSA), Riekus Nortje (RSA), JC Ritchie (RSA)
71 - Charl Coetzee (RSA), Ulrich van den Berg (RSA), Grant Muller (RSA), Arthur Horne (SWZ), Lindani Ndwandwe (RSA), Madalitso Muthiya (ZAM), Morne Buys (RSA)
72 - Pieter Moolman (RSA), Theunis Spangenberg (RSA), Le Roux Ferreira (RSA), Patrick Mwendapole (ZAM), Tyrone Ferreira (RSA), Tyrone Mordt (RSA), Ryan Cairns (ZIM), Titch Moore (RSA), Stefan Engell Andersen (KEN), Ryan Tipping (RSA), Drikus Bruyns (RSA), Shaun Smith (RSA), Gert Myburgh (RSA)
73 - Francesco Laporta (ITA), Christiaan Basson (RSA), Danie van Tonder (RSA), Jacques Blaauw (RSA), Louis de Jager (RSA), Dayne Moore (ZAM), Timothy Sondashi (ZAM) (AMA), Alan Michell (RSA), Jacques Kruyswijk (RSA), Eddie Taylor (RSA), Toto Thimba (Jnr), Rhys West (RSA), Ignatius Mketekete (ZIM)
74 - Heinrich Bruiners (RSA), Adilson Da Silva (BRA), Merrick Bremner (RSA), Prinavin Nelson (RSA), Christiaan Jonck (RSA), Paul de Beer (RSA), John Bele (RSA), Drikus van der Walt (RSA), Maritz Wessels (RSA)
75 - Njuguna Ngugi (KEN), Mohammad Rauf Mandhu (ZIM), Torben Baumann (GER), Colin Nel (RSA), Michael Hollick (RSA), JG Claassen (RSA), Andrew Curlewis (RSA), Desvonde Botes (RSA), Justin Harding (RSA), T I Mazibuko (RSA), Jaiveer Virk (IND), Wynand Dingle (RSA), Jaco Prinsloo (RSA)
76 - Tertius van den Berg (RSA), Attie Schwartzel (RSA), Lyle Rowe (RSA), Andrew McLardy (RSA), Teboho Sefatsa (RSA), Beza Daka (ZAM), Bryce Bibby (RSA), Geoffrey Banda (ZAM), TC Charamba (ZIM), Divan van den Heever (RSA)
77 - Nyasha Muyambo (ZIM), Martin du Toit (RSA), Jean-Paul Strydom (RSA), Callum Mowat (RSA), Omar Sandys (RSA), Aaron Simfukwe Jnr (ZAM) (AMA)
78 - Matthew Carvell (RSA), Kayyam Rauf Mandhu (ZIM), Nelson Mudanyi (KEN), CJ du Plessis (RSA), Henry Malembeka (AMA) (ZAM)
79 - Charles Shalubobya (ZAM) (AMA), Kelvin Phiri (ZAM), Steven Ferreira (RSA), Sheldon Steyn (ZIM), Richard Ainley (KEN), Sydney Wemba (ZAM) (AMA), Peter Munyinya (ZAM) (AMA), Gabriel Chibale (ZAM) (AMA), Fred Ndhlovu (ZAM) (AMA), Greg Snow (KEN), Francois Coetzee (RSA), Thabang Simon (RSA), Mohammed Zulu (ZAM), Desne van den Bergh (RSA)
80 - Ruan Huysamen (NAM), Farayi Chitengwa (ZIM), Greg Bentley (ZIM), Kangwine Chiluba (ZAM), Abhinav Walia (ZAM) (AMA)
81 - Deo Akope (UGA)
82 - Mukuka Mwango Jnr (ZAM) (AMA)
83 - Rajnish Sharma (ZAM) (AMA), Scott Bailey (ENG)
84 - Denmark Mulambo (ZAM) (AMA), D Ngandu (ZAM) (AMA)
86 - Stephen Mbewe (ZAM)
91 - Retief Strauss (RSA)
97 - Francisco Banda (ZAM)
RTD - Kelvin Chibuye (ZAM) (AMA)