The Dane shared the day one lead with England’s David Horsey after the pair each went seven shots better than the par of 70 at Pretoria Country Club, host of this week’s €1,5-million tournament.
“For that hole-in-one I hit a fantastic shot, I couldn’t hit it better,” said Madsen. “It’s really special to have one in competition on the European Tour. When you stand on the next tee you’re pretty pumped and confident, but I succeeded in gathering my thoughts and hit a really nice drive and then a great second shot. I played a three-iron approach to 12 feet and then sank it, which was a fantastic way to finish.”
The 2013 South African Open Championship winner has always done well on local soil and Thursday was no different. He made a lone bogey at the fourth, but outside of that it was excellence from the 26-year-old.
“I think that I feel comfortable coming down here. I enjoy being here, the weather, the people, the cities and the golf courses. It’s about feeling happy and that’s the secret,” he said.
Co-leader Horsey strung together a flawless 63 with completely different tactics.
“This place demands a bit more than just long hitting. It’s nice to play golf courses that make you think a bit more than just taking driver on every tee. I plotted my way around, because it’s very much a positional golf course. On the whole I’m very pleased with today’s work,” he said.
The Englishman drained plenty of long putts and helped himself to seven birdies during the first round, which set him into tie for the lead at the close of round one.
“The greens were probably worse than this morning, but I just hit putts on the lines that I chose, at the right pace, and fortunately a few of them dropped.
“I know the stuff I’m working on is headed in the right direction now and it’s starting to blossom, hopefully I can keep it up for the rest of the week,” he said.
Wallie Coetsee was the leading South African on Thursday and hovered one shot off the pace. The Jeffreys Bay local carded 64 to share third alongside Australia’s Brett Rumford.
“If you enjoy golf like me then there is no pressure. I love it out here and want to compete. I can’t wait for next week for the Investec Cup. It’s nice to be here, it’s special,” said Coetsee, who tied for second place at the Joburg Open a fortnight ago.
Scores (RSA unless otherwise specified):
63 - Morten Orum Madsen (DEN), David Horsey (ENG)
64 - Wallie Coetsee, Brett Rumford (AUS)
65 - Raphael Jacquelin (FRA), Dean Burmester, Keith Horne, Merrick Bremner
66 - Chris Swanepoel, Oliver Bekker, Trevor Fisher Jnr, Justin Walters, Ockie Strydom, Ricardo Santos (POR), Erik van Rooyen, Steve Webster (ENG), Edoardo Molinari (ITA), Rhys Enoch (WAL)
67- Vaughn Groenewald, Oliver Fisher (ENG), Dawie Van der Walt, Craig Lee (SCO), Michael Lorenzo-Vera (FRA), Marco Crespi (ITA), Adrian Otaegui (ESP), Graeme Storm (ENG), George Coetzee
68 - Dylan Frittelli, Lindani Ndwandwe, Jared Harvey, Mikko Korhonen (FIN), Jake Redman, Anthony Michael, Felipe Aguilar (CHL), Moritz Lampert (GER), Ulrich van den Berg
69 - Oliver Farr (WAL), Lee Slattery (ENG), Peter Karmis, Seve Benson (ENG), Rikard Karlberg (SWE), Robert Rock (ENG), Tjaart van der Walt, Ricardo Gonzalez (ARG), Sam Hutsby (ENG), Andrew Johnston (ENG), Jaco Ahlers, Ross Fisher (ENG), Michael Hollick, Mark Tullo (CHI), Jerome Lando Casanova (FRA)
70 - Rhys West, Daniel Brooks (ENG), Gregory Havret (FRA), Jordi Garcia Pinto (ESP), Estanislao Goya (ARG), Adilson Da Silva (BRA), Matthew Baldwin (ENG), Jake Roos, Oliver Wilson (ENG), Jason Palmer (ENG), Gregory Bourdy (FRA), Doug McGuigan, Garth Mulroy, Richard McEvoy (ENG), Michael Hoey (NIR), Andrew Curlewis, Mikael Lundberg(SWE), Jaco Prinsloo, Mark Williams (ZIM), Mark Foster (ENG), Callum Mowat, Scott Jamieson (SCO), Warren Abery, Lyle Rowe, Benjamin Hebert (FRA), Matt Ford (ENG), Byeong-hun An (KOR), Jorge Campillo (ESP)
71 - Shaun Norris, Maximilian Kieffer (GER), Darren Fichardt, Darren Clarke (NIR), Andy Sullivan (ENG), Shiv Kapur (IND), Chris Lloyd (ENG), Justin Harding, Lucas Bjerregaard (DEN), Ryan Cairns (ZIM), Tom Murray (ENG), Toby Tree (ENG), Charl Coetzee, John Parry (ENG), Chris Wood (ENG), Richard Bland (ENG), Eduardo de la Riva (ESP), Jbe Kruger, Jean Hugo, Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG), Neil Schietekat, Tyrone Mordt, Thanda Mavundla, Todd Sinnott (AUS)
72 - James Morrison (ENG), Richie Ramsay (SCO), Romain Wattel (FRA), Robert Dinwiddie (ENG), PH McIntyre, JJ Senekal, Brandon Stone, Johan Carlsson (SWE), David Howell (ENG), Jacques Blaauw, Chris Doak (SCO), Ross McGowan (ENG), Joakim Lagergren (SWE), Paul Maddy (ENG), Jacquin Hess
73 - Renato Paratore (ITA), Heinrich Bruiners, Tyrone Ferreira, Mark Murless, Steven Ferreira, Michiel Bothma, Derick Petersen, David Drysdale (SCO), Matthew Nixon (ENG), Simon Dyson (ENG), Danie van Tonder, Jeev Milkha Singh (IND), Julien Quesne (FRA), Divan Gerber, Arthur Horne (SWZ)
74 - Andrew Georgiou, James Kamte, Jaco Van Zyl, Alex Haindl, Trevor Mahoney, Pablo Martin Benavides (ESP), Jason Barnes (ENG), Ruan de Smidt, Drikus van der Walt, Russel Franz
75 - Johan Edfors (SWE), Damien McGrane (IRL), Soren Kjeldsen (DEN), Matteo Manassero (ITA), Christiaan Basson, Colin Nel
76 - Zander Lombard, Le Roux Ferreira, Louis de Jager, Makhetha Mazibuko
77 - Hennie du Plessis, Titch Moore
80 - Haydn Porteous