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Ken Borland

Top-class Fisher claims two-shot lead

Posted on January 11, 2015 by Ken

A top-class six-under-par 66 gave Ross Fisher a two-shot lead as the first round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge drew to a close on the Gary Player Country Club course at Sun City on Thursday.

Fisher, a tall, elegant Englishman, gave a display of precision iron-play as he collected seven birdies in the first 15 holes, a bogey four on the par-three 16th the only blemish on a high-quality round.

Playing partner George Coetzee matched him stroke-for-stroke over the first 10 holes, but a scratchy back nine ended with a bogey on the 18th – the South African’s only dropped shot – as he ended with a 68.

Coetzee was tied for second with Germany’s Marcel Siem and Frenchman Alexander Levy.

Levy was a picture of consistency as he completed his first competitive round at Gary Player Country Club without a bogey, birdies on the second, ninth, 10th and 13th holes leading to a highly creditable 68.

The shot of the day came from Siem as he eagled the par-four 17th and won himself a Volvo V40 T5 R-Design car worth nearly R400 000. His second shot on the 437-metre hole along the Sun City Lake seemed to be heading well right of the flag, but it hit the collar of the green and scooted sharply left, rolling into the hole.

It was that kind of day for Siem, especially on the back nine: he birdied the 10th, 11th, 13th and 14th holes, but dropped shots at 12 and 15, before his dramatic eagle lifted him into a share of second place.

Charl Schwartzel, whose swing is obviously not as settled as he would like, managed to post a two-under-par 70 and is in a tie for fifth place with veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez, fellow South Africans Tim Clark and Louis Oosthuizen, Scotsman Stephen Gallacher and Brooks Koepka of the United States.

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