Brooks still leads in Durban

European Tour

No player was able to better Daniel Brooks’ first round 62 before play was called off at the Nelson Mandela Championship on Thursday.

Brooks carded a flawless eight-under par round to claim the clubhouse lead after a seven-hour delay on the first day of the event, and only Olivier Bekker – who reached six-under after 14 holes – was able to make an impression on the leaderboard before the Mount Edgecombe course was drenched in rain for a second time on Thursday.

The players who are yet to finish their first rounds will be back on the course at 6am on Friday, while the second round will start 40 minutes later.

“You just keep your head down and grind. There’s nothing you can do about it,” the 29-year-old Bekker said after his truncated round.

“I’m actually happy with the delay, to be honest. The weather is brutal out there at the moment and I’ve got a couple of tough holes coming up, so hopefully it clears up and those holes become a little easier when I go back out.

“Today I made a couple of good putts and things have been going my way. Those little breaks make a big difference in bad weather. The forecast for tomorrow and Saturday is pretty good, so if it clears up we could get a few good rounds in.”

Brooks, who recently graduated from qualifying school, admitted that he was pleased to have finished his round on Wednesday.

“I was completely focused on getting to the 18th tee box when we got called in. That probably helped, in a way, because I just kept playing and the result was good,” he admitted.

I pretty much holed everything I looked at, which was quite nice,” he added. “I haven’t putted that great over the last couple of weeks, so to hole a few was pretty nice.”

Second-placed Calmels, meanwhile, is fresh off a victory at an event in Mauritius last week.

“It was a great week for me,” said the Challenge Tour graduate.

“I made a great last round 65 to win by one over Hennie [Otto], and that give me quite a bit of self-confidence.

“I know I’m playing well, and the great round today was just perfect.”

With the round incomplete, first round play will resume at 6am, with the second round scheduled to get underway at 10.50am as organisers battle to get play back on schedule.

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