China’s defending champion Wu Ashun is one of the 22 golfers tied at 50th after carding one under 70, six strokes behind the early pacesetters.

Mostert carried his fine form to the Kenyan capital after winning his maiden European Challenge Tour title at the Nelson Mandela Bay Championship on home soil two weeks ago when he kicked off a run of three successive DP World Tour starts, setting the early target courtesy of a series of birdies.

Starting from the tenth tee, Mostert picked up five shots on the front nine before making three more gains after the turn.

“I am very pleased. I played very solid today and kept the momentum going throughout the round. Made some good putts, and hit a lot of greens. The greens are small, so if you’re hitting greens you’re going to have a lot of chances. I managed to make a few putts; I will just keep doing the same thing. I’m excited for tomorrow (Friday),” the South African told the DP Tour website after his storming start to the 2 million U.S. dollar prize money tournament.

The 24-year-old’s only blemish came at the ninth – his last hole of the day – as he missed his tricky par putt to head into the clubhouse on seven under par.

He was soon joined at that mark by fellow morning starter Catlin, with the American carding an eagle and five birdies in his flawless first-round effort.

Wil Besseling and Pierre Pineau sat in a tie for third on six under, with Gavin Green, Borja Virto, Tom Murray, Nick Bachem, and Casey Jarvis another shot back in joint-fifth.

Mostert began his round with a hat-trick of birdies at the tenth, 11th, and 12th before further gains at the 16th and 18th took him to the turn in 30 blows.

After picking up another shot from around 12 feet at the third, Mostert made back-to-back birdies to reach seven under.

He opened up a two-shot lead with a birdie at the sixth but surrendered a late bogey when he could not save par on the ninth.

His American challenger also started from the tenth tee and, like Mostert, produced a remarkable burst of scoring on his front nine, with Catlin, the three-time DP World Tour winner, starting with back-to-back birdies before making two more on the 15th and 16th before making an eagle at the 18th to turn in 29.

Elsewhere, Uganda’s Ronald Rugumayo had a day to remember as he made a hole-in-one at the par-three second.

Local golfers had an underwhelming day with Dismas Indiza the best-placed Kenyan tied 73rd on level par.

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