Date: December 14, 2018
Author: Golf Australia

Papadatos starts strong in South Africa

Australian Dimitrios Papadatos began his last chance of 2018 to secure a European Tour card with an impressive 67 at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa.

Papadatos entered the Challenge Tour's season-ending tournament with a chance of finishing the campaign in the all-important top 15 but damaged a club and then played with it, leading to a disqualification.

He had another chance to earn his playing privileges at the Australian PGA Championship but again missed out and is now looking for an all important victory to secure a place on tour.

His bogey-free round set the early pace at Leopard Creek Country Club and with leader Oliver Bekker just one shot ahead of him heading into round two, the 27 year old was happy with his day's work.

“It was definitely tricky out there today,” he said. “The wind was quite strong, a lot stronger than the forecast. The greens were quite firm and fast so yes, I was very happy with that round.

“I didn’t realise I was bogey-free but I am pretty happy to keep the scorecard free of the bogeys. Trying to get a bit of form and after the missed cut last week, it was nice to turn things around.”

Raphaël Jacquelin was a shot behind Papadatos as he made his first appearance at Leopard Creek in his 599th European Tour event.