Callum Shinkwin recovered from a disappointing first six holes to make a strong start to the Nedbank Golf Challenge as the European Tour season builds towards its climax.

At three-over-par after six holes, the omens were not encouraging for the Bushey golfer at the tough Sun City course after he began his campaign from the 10th.

But the 24-year-old steadied the ship with a birdie at 18, got back to level-par with an excellent eagle at the par five second before picking up two more shots to finish on two-under-par to end the day in a tie for 10th place, three shots behind first round leader Bernd Wiesberger.

Having moved up to 36th in the Race to Dubai standings after finishing in a tie for 16th at last week’s Turkish Airlines Open, Shinkwin is already assured of a place at next week’s season-ending World Tour Championship.

Moor Park club-mate Matt Wallace is also hoping to compete in the Dubai showpiece but he needs to be in the Race to Dubai top-60 after Sunday’s final round in South Africa to automatically qualify.

The 27-year-old dropped down to 68th in the standings after finishing in a share of 54th in Turkey, and he had difficult first day at Sun City, but made birdie on his last hole to finish on three-over-par and in a tie for 58th.

The Gary Player-hosted tournament is the second of three premier Rolex Series events that end the European Tour season and is restricted to a field of 72 with no halfway cut.

Shinkwin, who claimed his best result to date when he finished runner-up at another Rolex Series tournament, the Scottish Open, in July, struggled initially by dropping a shot apiece at the 11th, 14th and 15th.

However, he was back to level par after the second, and went on to birdie the par three fourth and par four eighth.

Wallace’s ‘front’ nine was a rollercoaster as he started with a birdie at 11, bogeyed the next three holes, before he retrieved one of those shots at the 15th.

The Pinner professional’s round then took a nasty turn for the worst with a triple bogey six at 16 to slide to plus-four, but he shook off that disappointment to birdie the 17th and the second to get back to two-over.

Bogeys at the seventh and eighth dropped Wallace back to four-over, but he finished on a positive note at the ninth on a day when less than half of the field managed to break par.