Henna Otto carded a flawless 63 at Topwin Golf & Country Club on Thursday for a three-shot lead over the morning field at the Volvo China Open.
The three-time European Tour winner wrapped up his nine-under-par romp with a chip-in for eagle at the eighth, which was his penultimate hole of the day.
Otto started on the 10th and began his charge with a birdie at the 11th, before pencilling in birdies at the 15th and 17th to turn in 33.
He opened the flood gates on his second loop, making four birdies in a six-hole stretch from the second to the seventh. His eagle three at the par-five eighth garnished the round of 63.
It was a superb return to the spotlight for Otto, who has not recorded a top-10 result since winning the Open d’Italia in 2014.
Dean Burmester raced to the turn in 31 on Thursday and was set to shoot the lights out, but made two drops coming home and settled for 68. He has missed two cuts since October 2014 on the Sunshine Tour, and it feels inevitable that he’ll break onto the European Tour.
The 26-year-old is currently four-under-par and tied for seventh, which is a good foundation to build upon.
Darren Fichardt shot a respectable 69 and Trevor Fisher carded 70.