Jacques van der Westhuyzen

By Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Head of Sport

Lagergren edges ahead of SA’s Jarvis after opening round of SA Open

Former champion Christiaan Bezuidenhout looks to have found some form and is just a few shots back ahead of the second round.

Rookie South African golfer Casey Jarvis, who only a few weeks ago won his DP World Tour card, led the way for most of the opening day at the SA Open at Blair Atholl in Lanseria on Thursday, but he will tee off on the second day on Friday one shot back of first round leader Joakim Lagergren of Sweden.

The 32-year-old from Sweden was an afternoon starter, teeing off on the 10th for his first round, and he made no mistakes, shooting a quite stunning 65, seven-under-par, that included seven birdies.

But before Lagergren’s late finish on Thursday, it was Jarvis’ name atop the leaderboard for much of the opening round.

‘Hit the ball nicely’

The 20-year-old, who also started his day on the 10th, went around the 7,528 metre course — the longest in DP World Tour history — in 66 blows, to be six-under-par. He made seven birdies and one bogey at the 113th playing of the SA Open.

“It was an early wake up and it was good to go out there and post a number,” said a happy Jarvis.

“It’s a long course so I tried to step on a few drives out there and otherwise I hit the ball really nicely so I’m happy.

“The par threes here are long so if you can score well there you’re going to be okay and I managed to do that.”

Jovan Rebula

Three players finished a further shot back at five-under-par, two off the lead, namely former SA Open champion Andy Sullivan of England and the South African pair of Louis de Jager and Jovan Rebula, the nephew of multiple Major champion Ernie Els.

A large group of players were at four-under-par, among them another former SA Open champion, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, while defending champion Thriston Lawrence, opened with a two-under-par 70, the same score as last week’s winner at the Joburg Open, Dean Burmester.

Exciting world number one amateur Christo Lamprecht, who led the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool after the first round in July last year, has some work to do on Friday if he is to play the weekend. The 22-year-old made just one birdie in his round, with three bogeys and double bogey to be four-over-par 76.

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