Birdie string worth Africa Open lead

EAST LONDON, South Africa, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Brandon Pieters had a string of five consecutive birdies Thursday that carried him to the first-round lead of the European Tour's Africa Open in South Africa.

Pieters had an eagle, eight birdies and three bogeys for a 7-under-par 66, putting him one stroke up on a group of six golfers and two ahead of another group of six.


Play was delayed 90 minutes because of heavy fog at the East London Golf Course and Pieters was able to post an early good score. Winds affected some play later in the day.

Pieters began his round on the second nine and jumped to 2-under when he made a 4-foot putt for eagle on the par-5, 527-yard 11th hole. But he offset three birdies with three bogeys over the next seven holes and made the turn at 2-under.

He had pars on holes Nos. 1 and 2 before running off five consecutive birdies to move into the lead.

"All good putting, that's all," Pieters said of his string of birdies. "It's always all about putting and I didn't really miss anything from inside 10 feet today."


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