Rory McIlroy within touching distance of lead at South African Open

He is in a five way tie for second

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walks down the fairway after teeing off the second hole during the first round of the Tour Championship golf tournament at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Rory Mc Ilroy is jut one shot off the lead on 5-under at the BMW South African Open.

The World No 2 carded an opening round 67 to make a solid start to the tournament.

The four time major winner made an inconsistent start to the front nine with three birdies and two bogeys.

But a string of four consecutive birdies on the back nine helped push him up the leaderboard.

Those came on the 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th holes.

McIlroy is in a five way tie for second place.

Trevor Fisher Jr and Keith Horne share the lead on 6 under after a 66 for both South African golfers.

Europe's 2016 Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke ended on 2-under.

The Northern Irishman made a slow start with two bogeys from his first three holes but turned things around with three birdies in a row on the 7th, 8th and 9th holes.

Also on 2-under is George Coetzee. Wales' Jamie Donaldson is three shots further back on 1-over, while four time major winner Ernie Els is on 2-over.