Thursday, February 14, 2013



South African Jaco Van Zyl overcame blustery conditions and a suspension in play at East London Golf Club to set the clubhouse lead of six under par 66 in the weather disrupted first round of the Africa Open.

The winds reached such speeds that play had to be halted for nearly three hours as balls started moving on the greens, particularly at the exposed third hole, meaning that only the morning groups completed their rounds.

It was Van Zyl, still searching for his maiden European Tour title, who adapted best to the difficult conditions, carding five birdies and an eagle three on the par five 15th, after starting his round on the ninth hole

His only dropped shot was a bogey on the second hole, as the 33 year old opened up a two shot clubhouse lead over Englishman John Parry.

“All I could think about over those last three holes was how much I wanted to get off the golf course,” Van Zyl said. “The wind was really, really brutal out there, especially over the front nine. It was a struggle to stand and keep your balance over your putts, so the suspension was a good call.”

Parry won during his rookie campaign in 2010, but lost his card a year later before romping to victory at Qualifying School to ensure a return to The European Tour. He had five birdies and a bogey in his first 11 holes to join Van Zyl at the top of the leaderboard, but went in the wrong direction after the break with bogeys at the second and fourth dropping him to two under with four to play. However he responded with birdies at the fifth and seventh to return to four under, and as a result took second in the clubhouse after signing for a 68, with Van Zyl’s compatriot Oliver Bekker one shot further back following a 69. Playing in one of the last groups of the day Brazil’s Adilson Da Silva made a remarkable start to his round. The 41 year old had four birdies in his first five holes to sit one shot behind Parry on five under par through eight holes.

He and the remainder of the afternoon groups will resume play on Friday at 07.00hrs after fading light forced the players off the course at 18.55hrs local time.


Leading completed scores (afternoon players to finish first round on Friday at 07.00hrs)

Par 72
66 J Van Zyl (RSA)

68 J Parry (ENG)

69 O Bekker (RSA)

70 B Åkesson (SWE), D Greene (RSA), G Bourdy (FRA), A Sullivan (ENG), T Van de Walt (RSA)

71 A Georgiou (RSA), T Mordt (RSA), U Van Den Berg (RSA)

72  G Mulroy (RSA), M Delpodio (ITA), C Basson (RSA), A Kaleka (FRA), L De Jager (RSA)






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