Bourdy Up in Alfred Dunhill Championship

France's Gregory Bourdy carded a bogey-free, 6-under 66 to take the opening-round lead in the Alfred Dunhill Championship. The European Tour event began Thursday at Leopard Creek Country Club in Malelane, South Africa.

The 30-year-old Bourdy, a three-time winner in Europe, carded three birdies on the front nine and three more on the back for a one-stroke lead over South Africans Oliver Bekker, Louis de Jager, Darren Fichardt and Charl Schwartzel, and Englishmen Richard Bland and Steve Webster.

Four players had 68s and nine posted 3-under 69s. American Peter Uihlein, the 2010 U.S. Amateur champion who's now playing exclusively in Europe, opened with a 70.

Bourdy was happy with his start. "This isn't an easy course so I'm very happy to have played well here," he said. "I played very solid, consistent golf. I had a lot of birdie opportunities, but to make six is good enough for me.

"I felt great with my irons today, so early on in my round I made birdies very quickly. But I've felt good about my game for a few weeks now and I've been waiting for a better performance. Now I have that opportunity this week."

Schwartzel is seeking his second straight title after winning last week's Thailand Golf Championship by 11 strokes. "Whenever you can start off with a 5-under it's good. Like I always say you can't win on the first day, but you can sure lose it," said the 2011 Masters champion.

"I've always liked the course. It always seems to suit my eye, and it's got some sort of relaxing feel about it, so the combination goes well together."

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