Goosen takes command

Retief Goosen stormed into a four-shot lead with two holes still to play in his first round at a rain-affected South African Open in Durban today.

Retief Goosen stormed into a four-shot lead with two holes still to play in his first round at a rain-affected South African Open in Durban today.

The two-time former winner was on nine under par after 16 holes after a remarkable round so far that included six birdies and two eagles, with fellow South African Louis Oosthuizen amongst a group of five players on five under.

Open champion Oosthuizen had the best clubhouse score of 67 at the Durban Country Club, along with David Drysdale of Scotland and countryman Martin Maritz, while two others, James Kamte and Jaco Ahlers, were on the same score after 16 and 15 holes respectively.

Dane Thorbjorn Olesen, Mark Brown from Australia and another local player Divan van den Heever carded 68s to sit a shot further back with English duo Robert Rock and John Parry finishing with 69s.

Persistent rain forced almost the entire day of the co-sanctioned European and Sunshine Tour event to be postponed yesterday and rescheduled for today, when play got under way at 0830 (6.30am Irish Time).

The shift means that round two will now be played tomorrow and the tournament likely to be cut to 54 holes considering the rain forecast for the weekend.

And Oosthuizen, the world number 25 was happy to have finally got out on the course.

Speaking after his bogey-free round, which included five birdies, he said: “It was a long wait yesterday, so just to get the round going today was good.

“I think the greens looked a lot better than what we all expected after all the rain.

“I felt much better after last week (he missed the cut at the Alfred Dunhill Championship). There were no bogeys and I hit my driver well, which helps out here. The weather is good today, so that helped as well.”

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