French birthday boy Calmels leads Mandela champs after long delay

2013-12-12 00:00

UMHLANGA — The 32nd birthday for France’s Francois Calmels did not start too well when the golf tournament he travelled to play in in KwaZulu-Natal started seven hours late.

But at the end of the day, his initial frustration was merely a faraway memory. He ended last night in the clubhouse as leader in the Nelson Mandela championship after an excellent round of 63 (seven shots under par).

The man from Bussy St Georges in France stormed to the top position on the leader board yesterday after he hit four successive birdies between the second and fifth holes (his 11th and 14th of the day). In the end, he collected seven birdies on his card, as well as an eagle, as a result of excellent shots with his irons.

“I have hit a couple of good shots and got the ball quite close to the flag on a couple of occasions for short putts,” Calmels said. “But I am not surprised that it went so well, because I have been playing quite well over the past few weeks and won last week in Mauritius with a 65 on the last round.

“A birthday is like every other day, except that I have received more messages yesterday on my phone than I normally would. But this was not a bad way of celebrating one’s birthday,” he added.

Calmels entered the clubhouse with a lead of one shot over his compatriot, Edouard Dubois, but at the time of going to press they were two of only about 30 players who have completed their first round after play only started at 1 pm.

Half of the other competitors have not even hit one shot.

The day started with a stifling feeling of déja vu when the start of the tournament was delayed by seven hours as a result of puddles of water on the course. It was precisely the same scenario that delayed the Nelson Mandela championship last year at the Royal Durban course and in the end it was only possible to play 36 holes.

Fortunately, it looks as if the spectators on the KwaZulu-Natal coast will see more golf this time. It is expected that only a soft drizzle will fall in the evening over the next three days.

The only result of Tuesday night’s heavy rains in the area was that the short fourth hole would be changed into a three to avoid the water puddles.

• The first South Africans in the club house were Bradford Vaughan and Tjaart van der Walt on 67 (-3).


(South African unless specified)

-8 - Daniel Brooks (ENG)

-7 - Francois Calmels (FRA)

-6 - Edouard Dubois (FRA), Romain Wattel (FRA)

-5 - Joel Sjoholm (SWE), Ryan Cairns (ZIM)

-4 - Adrien Saddier (FRA), Estanislao Goya (ARG), Victor Riu (FRA), Jaco Ahlers

-3 - Phillip Archer (ENG), Bradford Vaughan, Tjaart van der Walt, Matthew Carvell, Dawie Van der Walt, Charl Coetzee, Jbe’ Kruger, Merrick Bremner [16]

-2 - Andrew Georgiou, Daniel Gaunt (AUS), Jens Fahrbring (SWE), Alastair Forsyth (SCO), Theunis Spangenberg, Andrew Johnston (ENG), Fredrik Andersson Hed (SWE), Julien Guerrier (FRA), Vaughn Groenewald, Brandon Stone, George Coetzee, James Kingston [17], Gary Stal (FRA) [16], Shiv Kapur (IND) [15], Jacques Blaauw [15], Keenan Davidse [15]

-1 - Justin Harding, Jens Dantorp (SWE), Carlos Del Moral (ESP), John Hahn (USA), Titch Moore, Simon Thornton (IRL) [17], David Higgins (IRL) [16], Jake Roos [16], Anthony Wall (ENG) [15], Chris Paisley (ENG) [14], Duncan Stewart (SCO) [3], Oscar Stark (SWE) [3], JJ Senekal [2]

Par - Sam Little (ENG), Louis Taylor (AMA), Ockie Strydom, James Kamte, Edouard Espana (FRA), Thomas Aiken [17], Daniel Im (USA) [16], Bryce Easton [15], Jose-Filipe Lima (POR) [15], Haydn Porteous [14], Ruan de Smidt [14], John Bele [14], Dean Burmester [14], Oliver Wilson (ENG) [2], Ben Evans (ENG) [2], Kevin Phelan (IRL) [2], Thomas Pieters (BEL) [1], Brandon Pieters [1], Scott Henry (SCO) [1], Dominic Foos (GER) (AMA) [1], Niklas Lemke (SWE) [1], PH McIntyre [1], Simon Wakefield (ENG) [1], Mark Williams [1]

+1 - Jose Manuel Lara (ESP), Neil Schietekat, Tyrone Ferreira, Stuart Manley (WAL), Damien McGrane (IRL), Heinrich Bruiners [16], Espen Kofstad (NOR) [14], Joshua Cunliffe [3], Makgetha Mazibuko [2], Graham van der Merwe [2], JG Claassen [2], Oliver Fisher (ENG) [1]

+2 - Chris Swanepoel, Grant Muller, Chris Hanson (ENG), Desvonde Botes, Ulrich van den Berg, Peter Karmis, Lyle Rowe [16], Jeppe Huldahl (DEN) [16], Teboho Sefatsa [2], Riekus Nortje [2]

+3 - Thabo Maseko [14]

+4 - Dylan Frittelli, Jean Hugo

+6 - Warren Abery

+7 - Alpheus Kelapile

+8 - Adam Gee (ENG)

+6 - Warren Abery

+7 - Alpheus Kelapile

+8 - Adam Gee (ENG)

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