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Friday, 19 March 2010
Joburg Open - Previews  (Getty Images)
Joburg Open - Previews (Getty Images)

Playing partners Darren Clarke and Charl Schwartzel both made flying starts to the opening round of the Joburg Open - the final leg of The European Tour's South Africa swing.

A week after winning the Africa Open and going top of The Race to Dubai, Schwartzel birdied eight of the first 11 holes on the West course at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club.

Any thoughts of a 59 went when the South African double bogeyed the 450 yard 12th, but a tee shot to within six feet of the flag on the next helped him return to seven under par.

Former Ryder Cup star Clarke was only one behind after going to the turn in a five under 31 and then adding another birdie at the 12th.

The Ulsterman was unable to keep his cup run going despite two wins in 2008, but believes he can contend for a place in Colin Montgomerie's side in Wales later this year.

Scotland's Alastair Forsyth matched Clarke's front nine and shared third place with 49 year old Englishman Barry Lane, who was tackling the longer East course.

Both lay-outs are used for the opening two rounds before the weekend action all comes on the East.

Placing of the ball was being allowed because of heavy recent rain.

Lane, who becomes eligible for the Senior Tour in June, began his 649th Tour event - he is second to Sam Torrance in the all-time list - with a bogey, but birdied five of the next eight and picked up another shot with a 12 footer at the 13th.

Among those one further back were Ryder Cup Dane Søren Hansen, while Italian Omega Mission Hills World Cup winner Edoardo Molinari stood two under.

The later starters included Bristol's Chris Wood, third in The Open Championship last July and The European Tour Rookie of the Year.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1SCHWARTZEL, CharlRSA18-23
T2HORNE, KeithRSA18-17
T2CLARKE, DarrenNIR18-17
T4KAMTE, JamesRSA18-14
T4WILLETT, DannyENG18-14
T6WHITEFORD, PeterSCO18-12
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