Date: January 11, 2013
Author: Omnisport

Jaidee makes flying start in Durban

Thailand&aposs Thongchai Jaidee has blitzed the field in the opening round of the Volvo Golf Champions in Durban, South Africa. In strong winds, the 43-year-old fired a seven-under 65 to lead by a three strokes from South African duo Ernie Els and Louis Oosthuizen. Jaidee hit five birdies on the front nine and three on the way home, redeeming a bogey on the 17th with a birdie on the last hole to complete an excellent round. “I&aposm very happy with that,” the world number 80 said. “I enjoy the course. You have to think a lot – I hit the driver on only two holes and I put a three-iron in my bag only 15 minutes before we teed off.” Els and Oosthuizen looked set to be tied for second with a swag of players on three-under but both managed to birdie the last hole to record four-under 68s to keep Jaidee within touch. The South African pair each shot seven birdies around the Durban Country Club course but Oosthuizen dropped shots on the first, sixth and 11th holes while Els double-bogeyed the fourth and missed par on the 11th. Tied for fourth on three-under are Dane Thomas Bjorn, Welshman Jamie Donaldson, Englishman Danny Willett, Indian Jeev Singh and Scottish trio Scott Jamieson, Paul Lawrie and Richie Ramsay. Bjorn had a remarkable round that despite including four bogeys was offset by five birdies and an eagle on the eighth hole. Irish duo Padraig Harrington and Shane Lowry were joined by England&aposs Robert Rock and Francesco Molinari from Italy in a tie for 11th on two-under, with ground to make up during the second round. Other high-profile players off the pace were Retief Goosen and Colin Montgomerie, who recorded even-par rounds to sit equal 15th. Jose Maria Olazabel, the 1999 US Masters champion, had a poor round featuring four bogeys and a double-bogey on the ninth to be placed in equal 22nd.