South Africans lead early forays at Leopard Creek

12/13/2012 7:44:46 AM
A couple of monkeys watch on at Leopard Creek  (Getty Images)
A couple of monkeys watch on at Leopard Creek (Getty Images)

A South African trio of Oliver Bekker, Charl Coetzee and James Kamte seized a share of the lead during the opening morning of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Club.

Coetzee – no relation to World Number 49 and countryman George Coetzee – started on the tenth tee at the Mpumalanga venue on a picture-perfect Thursday morning, and despite a bogey at the short 12th – his third – surged back to reach four under par thanks to a gain at the long 15th and a stunning run around the turn that saw him card back-to-back birdies at the 18th and first before and eagle three at the second hole.

Alongside Coetzee at four under par were Kamte, who after also starting on the tenth had found five birdies and just the one drop at the 15th hole through 11 holes, and Bekker, whose flawless back nine of 34 continued with another gain at the par four first.

A group of five players shared fourth place as the first round progressed, including Challenge Tour graduate Kristoffer Broberg and the man Scott Jamieson defeated in the second play-off hole last week to win the Nelson Mandela Championship in Durban, England’s Steve Webster.