Johannesburg - Paul Peterson of the United States got round the West course at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club in nine-under-par 62 on Thursday, well before the soaking rain stopped play in the first round of the Joburg Open.
He didn’t drop a single shot in an impressive display, and he had a two-shot lead over the England duo of Aaron Rai and Paul Waring, who carded their seven-under 65s on the par-72 East course. There were three players home in six-under. Romain Langasque of France and South African Jbe’ Kruger carded theirs on the West course, while Sweden’s Sebastian Soderberg was on East.
“It was fun out there today,” he said.
“Birdieing half of the holes is never bad, and bogey-free to match, so I felt really good out there. I got into a nice rhythm and I putt a new putter in play this week. It proved to be a good first round with it so I’m really happy.”
Play for the day was called off at 14:35, and will resume at 06:45 on Friday after hours of soaking rain added to the water levels on a course that had already taken more than 140 millimetres over the past two days.
“Actually, I am very impressed with the conditions of the course and the greens,” said Peterson.
“They even put mowers on the fairways, I wasn’t sure they were going to be able to do that, so hats off to the superintendent and everybody for getting the course prepped.”
It was all well and good to be happy with fairways and greens, but there’s more to a golf course than that.
“You definitely got so mud balls in the rough,” he said.
“I did a couple of times today. I tried to manage my ball as best I could but thankfully I was in the fairway a lot.”
Defending champion Haydn Porteous was off to a solid start and was three-under through 12 holes when play was abandoned.
The three major champions in the field had varying degrees of success.
YE Yang, the 1999 PGA Championship winner, carded a one-under 71 on the East course; 2008 Masters champion Trevor Immelman was three-over through 12 on the East; and 2011 Open champion Darren Clarke was two-over on the East.
-9 - Paul Peterson
-7 - Aaron Rai, Paul Waring
-6 - Romain Langasque, Sebastian Soderberg, Jbe' Kruger
-5 - Francesco Laporta, Teaghan Gauche, Dylan Frittelli, Dean Burmester, Pep Angles, George Coetzee , Adilson Da Silva 
-4 - Paul Maddy, Marc Warren, Jordan Smith, Damien Perrier, Joel Stalter, Jaco Prinsloo, Chris Hanson, Vaughn Groenewald , David Drysdale , Jacques Kruyswijk , Nino Bertasio 
-3 - Anthony Michael, Laurie Canter, Titch Moore, Chris Paisley, Rikard Karlberg, Oliver Bekker, James Morrison, Sam Walker, Sebastien Gros, Andrew Georgiou, Alexander Bjork, JC Ritchie, Mark Foster , Trevor Fisher Jnr , Darren Fichardt , Lee Slattery , Haydn Porteous , Mark Williams , Robert Rock , Ryan Fox , Scott Jamieson , Jens Fahrbring 
-2 - Wil Bateman, Johan Carlsson, Eddie Pepperell, Jamie Donaldson, Christiaan Basson, Colin Nel, Jaco Ahlers, Jeff Winther, Maximilian Kieffer, Thomas Linard, Theunis Spangenberg, Tom Lewis, Scott Vincent, Bryce Easton, Clement Sordet, Tjaart van der Walt , Paul Dunne , Simon Khan , Chris Swanepoel , Oliver Fisher , Dawie Van der Walt , Gary Stal , Keith Horne , Renato Paratore , Merrick Bremner , Magnus A Carlsson , Jonathan Agren , Ben Evans , Andre de Decker , Oscar Stark 
-1 - Bryce Bibby, Teboho Sefatsa, Simon Dyson, Adrian Otaegui, Madalitso Muthiya, Justin Walters, Brandon Stone, Le Roux Ferreira, James Heath, Pavit Tangkamolprasert, Makhetha Mazibuko, Adrien Saddier, Gary King, Jean-Paul Strydom , Peter Karmis , Lyle Rowe , Anthony Wall , Jaco Van Zyl , Thomas Detry , Graeme Storm , Daniel Brooks , Shaun Norris , Toby Tree , Matthieu Pavon , Anton Karlsson , Richard Finch , Rafa Echenique , Ashley Chesters , Pontus Widegren , Keenan Davidse , David Law , Jeff Hopkins 
Par - Connor Syme, Thanda Mavundla, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Richard Sterne, Matthew Southgate, Thomas Aiken, Y.E Yang, Richard Mcevoy, Johan Edfors, Marcus Armitage, Duncan Stewart, Alvaro Quiros , Garth Mulroy , Pelle Edberg , Louis de Jager , Ockie Strydom , Jake Roos , Stuart Manley , Rourke van der Spuy , Richard S Johnson , Mark Murless , Gert Myburgh , Max Orrin , Siphiwe Siphayi , Darryn Lloyd , Jacquin Hess , Reinier Saxton , Drikus van der Walt , Heinrich Bruiners 
+1 - Niclas Johansson, David Howell, Jean Hugo, Erik van Rooyen, Morten Orum Madsen, Doug McGuigan, Ulrich van den Berg, James Kamte, Jamie Rutherford, Borja Virto, John Parry, Scott Henry, Bernd Ritthammer , Christofer Blomstrand , Ruan de Smidt , Jacques Blaauw , Ashun Wu , Justin Harding , Sipho Bujela , Jose-Filipe Lima , Andrew Curlewis , James du Preez , Jens Dantorp , Leorin Pillay 
+2 - Omar Sandys, Julien Guerrier, Desvonde Botes, Garrick Porteous, Callum Mowat, Zander Lombard, Ricardo Gouveia, Haotong Li, Daniel Im, Robert Dinwiddie, Hennie du Plessis, Steve Surry, Musiwalo Nethunzwi, Sebastian Heisele, CJ du Plessis, Darren Clarke , James Kingston , Soomin Lee , Nathan Kimsey , Rhys West , Alex Haindl , Daniel Greene , Justin Hicks , Karabo Mokoena 
+3 - Andrew McLardy, Petr Dedek, Alexander Knappe, Wallie Coetsee, Bradford Vaughan, Eugen Marugi, Steven Tiley, Steven Ferreira, Tyrone Ferreira, Niclas Fasth , Jeev Milkha Singh , Trevor Immelman , Matthew Nixon , Jared Harvey 
+4 - Allister de Kock, Marc Cayeux 
+5 - Ross McGowan, Danie van Tonder, Lindani Ndwandwe, Chris Lloyd, Ricardo Gonzalez, Neil Schietekat 
+6 - Kyle McClatchie
+8 - Bryn Flanagan, Michiel Bothma