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Day one digest: 2020 Joburg Open

Day one digest: 2020 Joburg Open

Everything you need to know from the opening round at Randpark Golf Club.


There were two home hopes at the top of the leaderboard as the Joburg Open made its return on Thursday.

Here is everything you need to know from the opening round at Randpark Golf Club.

South Africans lead the way

Home favourites Wilco Nienaber and Shaun Norris shared the first round lead after producing two very different rounds of 63 on Thursday. Big hitter Nienaber went on the attack, using his power to set up plenty of chances, and made an eagle, nine birdies and three bogeys. Norris, meanwhile, carded one eagle and six birdies in his spotless first round. He said: "I had a sound game plan set to know when to attack and when to back off."

Nienaber's monster drive

Youngster Nienaber has become well known for his distance off the tee since turning professional last year. He was at it again on Thursday, driving the ball an astonishing 439 yards at the par five fourth - that's about a quarter of a mile. The 20-year-old produced an equally impressive second shot, sending his approach within five feet of the flag, but he was unable to convert his eagle putt and had to settle for a birdie.

Sterne shines on his return to action

The Joburg Open - back on the schedule for the first time since December 2017 - is not the only one making a return this week. Richard Sterne - a two time winner of this event - is teeing it up for the first time since the Dimension Data Pro-Am on the European Challenge Tour in February after undergoing a wrist operation. He showed no signs of ring rust, though, as he shot an opening 70 on Thursday morning.


Veerman's remarkable recovery

Johannes Veerman did not get off to the best of starts on Thursday, carding a bogey at the first to sit nine shots behind early clubhouse leaders Wilco Nienaber and Shaun Norris. But he responded in style, making a bounce-back birdie at the second before reeling off a hat-trick of gains at the fourth, fifth and sixth. After closing the front nine with another birdie, the American continued to impress after the turn, making birdies at the 12th, 14th and 18th and producing good par saves on the 15th and 17th. He is just one shot back heading into the second round.

Jamieson starts early, and fast

The combination of waking up at 4.15am and flying in from America did not seem to affect Scotland's Scott Jamieson as he flew out of the blocks on day one. Starting from the tenth tee at 6.30am, Jamieson opened with three straight birdies before making another on the 14th to get to four under par after five holes. He would go on to mix two birdies with two bogeys on his back nine to sign for a 67. He said: "It was a 4.15 alarm clock. So yeah, it was an early start. I came from the US as well, so I probably wasn't expecting such a fast start. But I'm delighted to get it."


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