Donald shows flashes of brilliance in the storm

by Golfer on

 

Two lightning delays and a lingering storm forced the first round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge to be suspended, with play resuming at 7:30am on Friday.

And it will do so with England’s Luke Donald two shots clear of the field.
Donald got off to a fast start at the Gary Player Country Club on Thursday when he birdied the first and then holed an 18-foot putt for eagle on the second. He added a further two birdies at holes eight and nine to climb to five under par, and was on the 12th hole when the siren sounded for a second time because of lightning and play was called off for the day.

It was a lovely start. Birdie, eagle and all of a sudden you are three under par through two holes. It doesn’t get much better than that around here. I played solid for those first 11 holes and hit a couple of very nice shots in that time that I was able to take advantage of. I feel good over the ball right now and I am playing with confidence,” said Donald.

His nearest challengers are Welshman Jamie Donaldson and Denmark’s Thomas Bjørn on three under par through 12 and six holes respectively. Defending champion Martin Kaymer is at two under through six holes.

Italian Francesco Molinari birdied the first two holes to set the early pace. But then he stumbled with two bogeys in three holes from the fifth and then a double bogey six on the 11th to stand at level par through 12 holes.

Ernie Els struggled on the opening day and will resume at three over par through seven holes. And Australian Peter Senior currently occupies last place in the 30-man field on eight over par after 10 holes.

But for the moment, Donald is looking incredibly solid as he looks to improve on his previous best finish of fifth in the 2005 Nedbank Golf Challenge.

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