Jaco van Zyl shot 69 in the first round of the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates on Thursday to share seventh place early into the European Tour’s season finale.
The Olympian came to life on the back nine of the Earth Course in Dubai, where he added four birdies and two dropped shots on his way to a share of seventh in the clubhouse.
He was on a three-under-par total and two shots behind early leaders Nicolas Colsaerts and Julien Quesne, who each signed for 67 and co-led with Lee Westwood, who was still out on the course.
Van Zyl has been through it all in the last two years, from knee surgery to making the Finals Series at the end of 2015. This year he’s been on song throughout the season, and last week finished sole 10th at the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
He is currently 56th in the Race to Dubai and 96th in the world rankings, both of which could drastically improve with a solid result this week.
Richard Sterne and Charl Schwartzel both carded 70 in the first round to share 14th place, followed by George Coetzee in share of 34th on level par.