Van Zyl in early lead
Jaco van Zyl shot a six-under-par 66 on the first day of the Africa Open at the East London Golf Club.
Play was suspended at 18:55, due to bad light and not everybody managed to finish the first round of the tournament.
Van Zyl, who secured an early one-shot lead during the first day, is trailed by Brazillian Adilson Da Silva, who is on five under par after eight holes.
England’s John Parry is third on the leaderboard, on four under par after 18 holes.
Early on in the first round, windy conditions interrupted play. In particular, players started to experience trouble on some of the exposed holes on the course, when balls started to move on the putting greens.
Van Zyl was tied with Parry on four under par when European Tour Chief Referee John Paramor called the players in, but on resumption drove the green at both the fifth and sixth holes – both par fours – for a couple of birdies.
The South African has secured 12 top-ten finishes on The European Tour but is yet to win. The jury is out on whether he will be able to hold onto that lead after the first round is completed.
England’s Parry holed five birdies and a bogey in his first 11 holes to join Van Zyl, but went in the wrong direction after the break with bogeys at the second and fourth dropping him to two under par with four holes to play.
Van Zyl’s compatriot Oliver Bekker was second in the clubhouse – albeit three back after a three-under-par 69, with Daniel Greene on the same mark with five holes remaining.
Parry responded with birdies at the fifth and seventh to return to four under par, and as a result took second position in the clubhouse.
The afternoon starters found it difficult to make an impact on the leaderboard, although Danish rookie Andreas Hartø did manage to reach two under par through seven.
Playing in one of the last groups of the day Da Silva, a regular on the co-sanctioning Sunshine Tour, made a remarkable start to his round.
The 41 year old had four birdies in his first five holes to draw level with Parry, and while he was unlikely to complete his round before dark, he had a great chance to challenge Van Zyl.
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