Mon, Jan 16, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Rookie takes share of Joburg lead with sizzling birdie blitz

AFP, JOHANNESBURG

European Tour rookie Andrew Parr fired an eight-birdie 64 on Saturday to share the Joburg Open clubhouse lead after an incomplete third round.

He is level on 12-under par-203 with South African Dawie van der Walt, although six of the leading nine golfers on the leaderboard have four or fewer holes to play in a tournament constantly disrupted by thuderstorms.

Among those who must complete their rounds early yesterday were South African Branden Grace and Englishman Richard Finch, who lie 15-under, and another local, George Coetzee, at 14-under.

After one round each over the west and east courses at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club, the final two rounds in the 1.3 million euro (US$1.65 million) event are staged on the more demanding par-72, 6,942m east layout.

However, the course did not prevent last year’s European Tour Q-School graduate Parr from delivering the best round of a cool, gray day, including birdies at three of the four par-five holes.

Van der Walt, an unlikely name so high on the board given he is ranked 544 in the world, shot a five-under 67 with three birdies on each half, while conceding one bogey.

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