Zander Lombard started well on Thursday morning, shooting a five-under-par 67 to sit tied-second after his round at the BMW International Open.
After a disappointing week at the Najeti Open, Lombard seemed to brush off those struggles as he enjoyed his outing at the Golf Club Gut Laerchenhof. He started his round on the 10th alongside Austrian Lukas Nemecz and German amateur Jeremy Paul. The unfancied makeup of the three-ball seemed to sit well with Lombard as he produced a flawless first nine that included birdies at the 10th, 14th and 17th.
He struggled with the pressure of leading on the final day at the Lyoness Open two weeks ago, but the 21-year-old appeared to have forgotten about the experience on Thursday. He pushed on with the round, collecting further birdies at the first, third and eventually the seventh to jump to the top of the leaderboard. The Woodhill Country Club member unfortunately tarnished his card with a dropped shot at the eighth before knocking in a solid par on the ninth to complete his 18.
Lombard shared second alongside Denmark’s JB Hansen and Chile’s Felipe Aguilar, the trio one shot behind clubhouse leader Oliver Fisher, who opened with a 66.
Brandon Stone played well for his two-under-par 70 to sit tied-20th, while Justin Walters opened with an encouraging 71 to join Jaco van Zyl in an early share of 35th.
Afternoon starters Trevor Fisher Jnr, Haydn Porteous and Tjaart van der Walt were yet to begin their first round.
Lombard is due a win after his near-misses at the Australian PGA Championship, Joburg Open, and Lyoness Open. The Pretoria resident will aim to kick on from his excellent opening round and be in contention come Sunday.