Hes one stroke ahead of Swedens Oskar Henningson, the winner of the European Tour Qualifying School. Zanotti, who regained his European playing privileges with a 16th place, had nine birdies and one bogey at the 10th hole.
I drove into the bunker and had a terrible lie, so I just had to try and move it out of there, then chipped up to the green but didnt make my par. But that was the only bad hole, he said.
Rory Sabbatini joined a group of eight golfers who shot 66. His wife Amy was the caddie, and he attributed his change in fortunes'after a poor Nedbank Challenge and Alfred Dunhill Championship'to her.
I was a little more patient, because I know shell give me a harder time than my caddie, so I think just maybe thats the key, he said. Just kind of taking a step back and kind of letting the putts go in instead of trying to force them in.
Tied with Sabbatini were South Africans Keith Horne and Jaco van Zyl, Englands Ross McGowan and Lee Westwood, Scotlands Richie Ramsay, Northern Irelands Gareth Maybin and Swedens Ake Nilsson.
Four-time South African Open champion Ernie Els shrugged off a double-bogey on the second hole to shoot 67.