McGrane on top in South Africa

Ireland's Damien McGrane shared the lead at the South African Open at Pearl Valley today, sitting at three under alongside Argentinian Ariel Canete.

McGrane, who began the new European Tour season by finishing eighth at the Alfred Dunhill Championship last Sunday, birdied the 10th, 13th and 14th, while Canete followed an opening birdie by picking up more strokes at the 16th and 17th.

England's Ross McGowan had birdied three of his first six holes to led the field earlier on.

But then came a triple-bogey seven on the 461-yard 16th to drop the player back to level par.

Tour school qualifier Jamie Elson – son of former rookie of the year Pip – and fellow Englishman Richard Finch were among those on two under, but South African Omar Sandys had a nightmare start in which he dropped seven shots in the first four holes.

That included a quadruple-bogey eight at the 426-yard second.

Ireland's Shane Lowery and last week’s winner Pablo Martin were among the later starters.

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