Takudzwa Chitsiga Sports Reporter
LOCAL professional golfers had a promising start after yesterday’s opening round of the Joburg Open at the Randpark Golf Club in Johannesburg, South Africa, where four of the five players participating recorded under-par scores.
The R16.5-million is part of the European, Asian and Sunshine Tours and is one of four South African events on the European Tour schedule. The tournament was held for the first time in 2007. So far only three players from other countries have won the Joburg Open.
It has the largest field on both tours with 240 professionals, including 30 Asian Tour members, four amateur invites, with the remainder shared between the European and Sunshine Tours.
The local players, who include Marc Cayeux, Scott Vincent, Benjamin Follet-Smith, Mark Williams and Ryan Cairns, are part of the field whose cut will be determined this afternoon. Cayeux and Follet-Smith completed the opening round on two-under 70. Vincent and South Africa-based Williams, who played in the morning is a shot behind on one under 71 while Cairns was one over 73.
Cairns who is good at recovering and is fresh from missing out at last week’s Mauritius Open will play in the morning which seemed to be favourable in yesterday’s round as low scores were recorded. A total 240 professional golfers took to the field for the third event before the season comes to an end.
Keenan Davidse who finished in a share of seventh last season – took an early lead of eight-under to take a one point lead. The South African had rounds of 67, 67 and 68 which earned him a 12-under-par score for a share of seventh – along with George Coetzee, America’s Paul Peterson and England’s Aaron Rai – after the tournament was reduced to a 54-hole event due to heavy storms.