Joburg Open: World number 1,555 Nic Henning leads with 62

Nic Henning
Henning's 62 was the joint lowest round of 2015 so far on the European Tour
Joburg Open leaderboard
-9 Nic Henning (SA); -8 Titch Moore (SA), Thomas Pieters (Bel), Tjaart van der Walt (SA); -7 Garth Mulroy (SA), Dean Burmester (SA), Jason Scrivener (Aus); -6 Scott Henry (GB), Joachim Hansen (Den), Wallie Coetsee (SA), An Byeong-hun (SKO), Sam Hutsby (GB), Andrew Curlewis (SA), Simon Dyson (GB), Jorge Campillo (Spa)

Nic Henning may be the joint lowest-ranked golfer on the professional tour - but he has belied his lowly status to lead the Joburg Open.

Rated 1,555 in the world, Henning carded a nine-under-par 62 opening round to equal the course record.

"I haven't made a score like that for many, many years so it's really nice," the 45-year-old South African said.

He is one shot ahead of compatriots Titch Moore and Tjaart van der Walt, and Belgium's Thomas Pieters.

If Henning retains his lead over the remaining three rounds, he will collect a prize of €206,000 (£150,000) - more than three times his previous biggest payday on the European Tour.

The player, who has not managed a top-10 finish for five years, added: "Over the last few years my scores have been really terrible and it's nice to prove to myself that I can still play well. It's been a long time since I shot 62."

Who is Nic Henning?
Turned professional in 1992. Had career high ranking of 149 in January 1999Biggest payday was €65,301 (£47,450) at the WGC-American Express Championship in 2000
Has never won on European Tour but nine top 10-finishesCareer earnings: Total European prize money - €363,527 (£265,000)

Dean Burmester and Garth Mulroy are a shot further back on seven under to make it five South Africans in the top seven, with Scotland's Scott Henry and English pair Sam Hutsby and Simon Dyson part of an eight-strong group on six under.

Henning raced to the turn in 29 with five birdies and an eagle on the West Course at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club in South Africa, and also birdied the 15th and 16th.

"Let me tell the truth; I hit my second at the first thin but it was straight at the hole, I holed a nice putt on the second and was lucky with a seven iron on the third, it went straight in the hole," he said modestly.

Henning lists beating Darren Clarke in a play-off for the Vodacom Players Championship in December 1999 as his best performance as a professional.

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