JOHANNESBURG -- Merrick Bremner of South Africa birdied six of his first nine holes, shooting an 8-under 64 Thursday to tie the course record in the opening round of the South African Open.
The 26-year-old Bremner consolidated his outstanding 30 with two more birdies on the back nine. His bogey-free round raised hopes of a first European Tour title at his home event.
"I played fantastically on the first nine," he said. "I didn't miss a green and there was only one chance that I missed that was makeable, and that was on 15. But in theory, I could have shot 28 on the first nine."
After his struggles on No. 12, Schwartzel returned to the form that landed him the 2011 title at Augusta National. He had a chip on No. 2 to set up one of his six birdies and didn't drop any more shots.
Kaymer double-bogeyed his first hole on his South African Open debut -- calling it a "bit of a shocker" -- but picked himself up with four birdies.
Grace, enjoying a breakthrough season since winning back his tour card for 2012, could only manage three birdies, plus a bogey and double on his back nine. Defending champion Hennie Otto shot 71 and amateur Terence Boardman made a hole-in-one on the par-3 12th and finished with a 74.