May 24 2013 Latest news:
Friday, February 15, 2013
Norfolk’s Andrew Marshall had a tough first day in his latest European Tour event in South Africa – but gave himself a chance of making the halfway cut after a battling finish.
The Africa Open at East London was hit by high winds that caused play to be suspended for three hours and Marshall was one of many players to struggle in the tough conditions.
He bogeyed five of his opening eight holes but instead of being blown completely off course he then steadied the ship and two late birdles saw him finish with a respectable three over par 75.
That left him a tie for 101st place, with 78 players still to complete their opening round, and in with a chance of making it through to the weekend with a decent round today.
Jaco Van Zyl leads the way after shooting a six-under-par 66. The South African Van Zyl leads by one from Brazil’s Adilson Da Silva, who racked up five birdies in just eight holes before his charge was halted by bad light. England’s John Parry was second in the clubhouse after a four-under 68.
Van Zyl and Parry were joined at the top of the leaderboard when play was suspended by chief referee John Paramor, who made the call after several balls were seen to move about in the high winds on some of the more exposed greens.
Van Zyl nevertheless conquered the tricky conditions to register three birdies, a bogey and an eagle at the long 15th to reach four under through 14 holes.
The 33-year-old from Kokstad added further birdies after play resumed to pull away from Parry, who traded two birdies against two bogeys following the re-start to stay at four under.
Van Zyl earlier backed the decision to call a halt to play, saying: “It’s getting really difficult out there, to the point where the wind is literally blowing you off your feet.
“I think it’s a pretty good call, because it’s not getting easier.”
South Africa’s Oliver Bekker was one stroke behind Parry to sit third in the clubhouse on three under.
Two players still out on the course also finished on three under, with Finland’s Mikko Korhonen benefiting from an eagle and a birdie from his 11 holes, and South Africa’s Andrew Curlewis hitting three birdies through eight.