Sunshine Tour

Brooks races into lead

Daniel Brooks (Gallo Images)
Daniel Brooks (Gallo Images)
Durban - Daniel Brooks raced down the 18th at Mount Edgecombe Country Club on Wednesday to complete his opening round of the €1-million Nelson Mandela Championship presented by ISPS Handa in eight-under-par 62.

Play had been suspended moments after he birdied the 17th hole and, on a day which saw play delayed by seven hours before a ball was struck while the course was readied after heavy rains had rendered many fairways waterlogged, he was determined to get the opening stanza behind him.

“It’s been a long day,” said Brooks.

“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.”

It was a bogey-free round for him, with four birdies on the opening nine and four more on the homeward stretch on a course which was reduced to a par-70 track: The 293-metre (320-yard) par-four fifth was converted into a 130-metre (142-yard) par-three because the fairway was so waterlogged.

For Brooks, as for so many players who go so low, putting was the key.

“I pretty much holed everything I looked at, which was quite nice,” he said.

“I haven’t putted that great over the last couple of weeks, so to hole a few was pretty nice.”

He was happy with his iron play, but not as thrilled with his driving.

“I’ve been hitting it nicely off the tees, but I didn’t do that today,” he said.

“We were lucky that we could place in the fairways, which gave us a bit of relief.

"The fairways weren’t too bad in places, but you need to keep it out of the rough around here because it’s really thick.

“It was soaking wet and you’re getting no run at all. It’s not too bad and they’ve shortened a few holes as well.

"If you’re hitting it on the fairways it’s pretty score-able,” he added.

There were others who found the course vulnerable in its current condition too: He led Frenchman Francois Calmels by one stroke, with two other French players in Edouard Dubois and Romain Wattel a further shot back.

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.
Scores (RSA 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)

Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
42% - 7654 votes
11% - 1938 votes
19% - 3496 votes
3% - 457 votes
1% - 165 votes
2% - 436 votes
5% - 894 votes
8% - 1514 votes
3% - 603 votes
Water sports
1% - 166 votes
American sports
1% - 213 votes
3% - 561 votes