Gavin Moynihan and Jonathan Caldwell made positive starts to their New Year as some scintillating scoring greeted the morning spectators on day one of the South African Open hosted by the City of Johannesburg.
For the Irish duo’s part, it wasn’t quite as quick as those in front but Moynihan’s four birdies saw him rise inside the top-30 after posting a three-under par 68 to open his account on the much tougher Firethorn Course this morning.
Clandeboye’s Caldwell managed four birdies of his own on the tamer Bushwillow track but also dropped three shots in a one-under par 70 that puts him inside the top half of a leaderboard headed by Johannes Veerman who came home in 29 to equal the Bushwillow Course record and set a blistering pace early on day one in Johannesburg.
The American has made an excellent start to the 2020 Race to Dubai since coming through the Qualifying School, earning two top tens in his three starts so far and he continued that form at Randpark Golf Club with a 62 to move to nine under.
That matched the mark set last season by Louis Oosthuizen, who also opened with a nine under round and went on to lift the trophy at his home open for the first time.
Veerman birdied the second and fifth but jumped into a share of the lead with a hat-trick of gains from the tenth.
Oosthuizen and 18-year-old amateur Jayden Trey Schaper both returned six-under par rounds of 65.
Portmarnock’s Conor Purcell made three straight pars to open his European Tour account and is out and the course at the time of writing.
Full scoring HERE