Sunshine Tour

Els, Immelman struggle at SA Open

Ernie Els
Ernie Els

Cape Town - Ernie Els and Trevor Immelman found the going tough in the opening round of the SA Open at Glendower Golf Club on Thursday.

After being drawn in something of a 'dream fourball' along with England's David Howell, Els and Immelman will have a fight on their hands in Friday's second round to make the cut.

Starting their rounds on the 10th hole, Els mixed an eagle and two birdies with five bogies to finish on 1-over par, 73.

Immelman fared worse, recording two birdies and five bogies to sign for a 3-over, par 75.

Howell had more reason to smile after an opening 1-under par, 71.

Els, 46, is a four-time SA Open winner (1996, 1998, 2006 and 2010) as well as a four-time Major champion (US Open 1994, 1997 and the Open Championship 2002 and 2012). Els' world ranking has slipped to 194th.

Immelman, 36, is the last player to have won back-to-back SA Opens in 2003 and 2004, which he followed with a coveted Green Jacket at the 2008 Masters.

Based in the United States, Immelman has not competed on home soil since his Nedbank Golf Challenge victory in 2007.

Immelman has battled injury in recent years and seen his world ranking plummet to 1 432nd.

South Africa's Jaco van Zyl is the early first round leader on 7-under.

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England 92/4 (28 ov)
Pakistan 326
loading... Live
England 92/4 (28 ov)
Pakistan 326
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