Justin Walters finished three shots off the pace after the first round at the Fiji International at Natadola Bay Golf Club.
Walters was the best of four South Africans on Thursday as the European Tour stopped by the Vijay Singh designed layout. The Fijian legend, a former world number one with three Majors to his name, finished with a 74 on a windy day on the stunning course.
37-year-old Walters looks primed to continue the good run of form he was building before back to back missed cuts in France and Ireland, both Rolex Series weeks.
On Thursday, his round included five birdies and three drops to sit three back of Andrew Dodt, Nick Cullen, Jarryd Felton and Ben Campbell in an Australian dominant leaderboard.
Ernie Els, making his first start at the event, birdied 16th and 17th to get his round back to level for the day. The Big Easy is two ahead of countryman Justin Harding, who signed for a disappointing 74.
The 32-year-old is one of the world’s hottest players after climbing over 600 spots this year after punctuating his form with two wins on the bounce in Asia. A run of three consecutive birdies from the turn looked like Harding was on track for another good round before drops on 13th and 16th saw him slide back down the leaderboard.
Jbe Kruger finished with a disappointing 80.
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