JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The hard-hitting South African James Hart du Preez carded a 9-under 63 to take a one-shot lead after the first round of the European Tour’s Steyn City Championship on Thursday in Johannesburg.
Du Preez upped the prospect of a 59 when he was 11 under and had two holes to play but finished with two bogeys. He was one stroke ahead of his compatriots Jaco Ahlers and Shaun Norris and the Italian Nino Bertasio.
A 59 would not have counted as a tour record tie, however, as players benefited from favored lies at Steyn City in recent days after heavy rains.
Du Preez, listed by the tour as a 6-foot-9, had two eagles and seven birdies in his opening round.
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