Lucan's Richard O'DonovanRichard O’Donovan is slowly finding form in South AfricaLucan’s Richard O’Donovan is just three strokes off the lead after the opening round of the South African Stroke Play Championship at the Hyatt Regency Oubaai Golf Resort and Spa.

The former East of Ireland winner had four birdies and a bogey in a three under 69 at the Ernie Els signature course in costal George, midway between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, to share sixth place after the opening round. Live scoring

South Africa’s Louis Taylor and Werner Ferreira, and Australian sensation Ryan Ruffels opened with rounds of six-under-par 66 to lead by two strokes from South Africa’s Damian Naicker and Joris Etlin of France.

Knock’s Nicky Grant is the next best in joint 10th after a two under 70 with Harry Diamond carding a one under 71 and Chris Selfridge a 72.

West Waterford’s Gary Hurley was tied 33rd after a 73 with Rory McNamara and Dermot McElroy a creditable joint 45th in the 140-man field after 74’s in their first rounds of the competitive season.

Meanwhile, Gavin Moynihan, Matt McAlpin, Pat Murray, Alex Gleeson, Eddie McCormack and Matthew Wylie will get their 2013 seasons underway in the 83rd Portuguese Amateur Open near Lisbon.

The six-strong Irish contingent will tee it up at Montado Hotel and Golf Resort in the Costa Azul region south just 30 minutes south of the capital. Tee times