McGrane leads Joburg open

2012-01-12 18:02
Damien McGrane (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - It may or may not be true that one can buy tins of Irish golfing brilliance in your local pro shop, but Damien McGrane kept the green, white and orange flag at the top of the leaderboard at the Joburg Open at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club on Thursday.

Irish golf is enjoying a phenomenal time of it on the various professional tours around the world and McGrane continued the trend on Thursday with a tremendous round of eight-under-par 63 to take him to the top of the leaderboard before a thunderstorm brought a halt to play.

"It's been quite incredible the last three or four years for a small nation to have such great results and we do feed off each other a bit. When I won in China in 2008, Darren Clarke won the following week and Peter Lawrie the week after that. Every so often we have our good spells and I wouldn't mine getting another one started here," McGrane said after his great round.

To shoot seven birdies and an eagle and just one bogey (on the last hole!), McGrane obviously adhered to the theory that the most important way around the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington course is to keep your ball in play.

"I played beautifully, from start to finish. The West Course does give up opportunities to score and tomorrow will obviously be more difficult on the East Course. But the course is perfect, the weather was perfect and I made a few putts.

"I was able to stack up the birdies and chipped in for eagle on 15, which was a nice bonus. But the wetness of the course means there's no run out there, the course is playing very long. I made use of every club in the bag and it was just about making the best of the situation. I hit every fairway, except for the last, which led to a bogey, which was disappointing," McGrane said.

The 40-year-old is trying to recapture the heights of 2010, when he finished 41st on the European Tour Order of Merit, with a runner-up finish and five other top-10s, having endured a disappointing 2011. McGrane only finished 115th in the Race to Dubai and has failed to make a cut since the Castello Masters on April 23.

Barring a catastrophe on the East Course on Friday, McGrane will be in the money this weekend, trying to hold off the challenge of South African Desvonde Botes on seven-under, and the group on six-under comprising Joel Sjoholm, David Drysdale, George Coetzee, George Murray, Carlos del Moral, Shaun Norris and Jamie Elson.

Scores (RSA unless specified): 

-8 - Damien McGrane (IRL)
-7 - Desvonde Botes
-6 - Joel Sjoholm (SWE), David Drysdale (SCO), George Coetzee, George Murray (SCO), Carlos Del Moral (ESP), Shaun Norris
-5 - Tommy Fleetwood (ENG), Retief Goosen, Peter Hedblom (SWE), Warren Abery, Richard Finch (ENG), Marc Warren (SCO), Wallie Coetsee
-4 - Chris Swanepoel, Jaco Van Zyl, Ulrich van den Berg
-3 - Theunis Spangenberg, Des Terblanche, Jean Hugo, Jake Roos, Thomas Aiken, Daniel Gaunt (AUS), Robert Dinwiddie (ENG), Darren Fichardt, Emiliano Grillo (ARG), Adam Gee (ENG), Trevor Fisher Jnr
-2 - Jose de Jesus Rodriguez (MEX), Seve Benson (ENG), Michael du Toit, Dawie Van der Walt, Danny Willett (ENG), Gregory Havret (FRA), Chris Gane (ENG), Magnus A Carlsson (SWE), Pelle Edberg (SWE)
-1 - Raymond Russell (SCO), Phillip Archer (ENG), Ariel Canete (ARG), Roope Kakko (FIN), Alessandro Tadini (ITA), Markus Brier (AUT), Andrea Pavan (ITA), Guillaume Cambis (FRA)
Par - Daniel Greene, David Dixon (ENG), Adilson Da Silva (BRA), Niclas Fasth (SWE), PH McIntyre, Hennie Otto, Lasse Jensen(DEN), Brandon Stone (AMA), Neil Cheetham (ENG), JG Claassen, Alvaro Velasco (ESP)
+1 - Tyrone Ferreira, Scott Strange (ENG)
+2 - Ryan Thompson, Lindani Ndwandwe, Matthew Baldwin (ENG), Titch Moore, Knut Borsheim (NOR)
+3 - Danie van Tonder, Lloyd Saltman (SCO), Jorge Campillo (ESP), Albert Pistorius, Andrew Curlewis, Louis Moolman
+4 - Alpheus Kelapile, Bernd Ritthammer (GER), Ryan Cairns (ZIM), Kenneth Ferrie (ENG), Jamie Moul (ENG), Darryn Lloyd
+5 - Morten Orum Madsen (DEN), Alan Michell, Jaco Ahlers
+6 - Edouard Dubois (FRA), Prinavin Nelson

Read more on:    joburg open

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Will Tiger Woods win another Major title?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.