Ernie Els produced a stunning birdie blitz around the turn to share the early lead on day one of the South African Open hosted by the City of Johannesburg.

The four-time Major Championship winner is seeking a sixth title in his home Open and he delighted the fans at Randpark Golf Club as he moved to five under after 13 holes of his opening round.

Fellow South African David McIntyre was alongside him in the clubhouse lead, with Louis Oosthuizen and Matt Wallace both also five under having played 11 holes of the Bushwillow Course.

South Africans Bryce Easton and Jacques Kruyswijk, American Sean Crocker, Welshman Stuart Manley and German Max Schmitt were a shot off the lead.

England’s Ben Evans had set the early pace with birdies on the first, second, fifth and sixth and while he dropped a shot on the tenth, he picked it back up on the 12th.

Countryman Wallace joined him at four under with gains on the first, second, third and fifth, and Els joined the lead with a hat-trick from the seventh after birdieing the first.

A fourth birdie in a row had Els in the solo lead and he made another on the 12th before dropping his first shot of the day on the next.

Wallace had dropped a shot on the eighth but he birdied the tenth and 11th to get into the lead alongside home favourite Oosthuizen.

The 2010 Open Championship winner also birdied the tenth and 11th to go with gains on the first, fifth and seventh.

McIntyre had birdied the first and fifth and while he dropped a shot on the eighth, he came home in 32 with gains on the 11th, 12th, 16th and 17th.

Easton and Manley both had two holes remaining in their rounds, while Kruyswijk and Crocker had completed 12 and six holes respectively.

Schmitt was the only early contender to be playing the Firethorn Course, and he made birdies on the second, seventh, ninth, 11th and 12th to go with a bogey on the third.

Evans was in the clubhouse at three under as part of a group that also contained home favourite Branden Grace.