Thursday, January 10, 2013

2013 Volvo Golf Champions First Round Recap

Like the PGA Tour's Tournament of Champions, the European's Volvo Golf Champions got off to a wet and windy start.  At South Africa's Durban Country Club, some of the world's best golfers started 2013 with tough conditions.  Thirty-three golfers are taking part in the European Tour's champions-only event and the first event on the tour in 2013.  Three events in the 2013 season were completed in 2012, but this is the first real chance for golfers to get their 2013 season off to a strong start.

Ernie Els and Louis Oosthuizen, playing in their home country, posted very good rounds.  Els opened strong with three consecutive bogeys until a double-bogey derailed his round.  Oosthuizen, on the other hand, struggled out of the gates with an opening bogey. The players improved throughout their rounds and both posted 4-under 68s.  Oosthuizen carded seven birdies to go with 3 bogeys in his opening round.

Those rounds were trumped, however, by first-round leader Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand.  Jaidee fired a seven-under par 65 in conditions that did not appear ready to yield that kind of score.  The veteran entered the event off a win in 2012 for his first win on tour in a few years.  Jaidee will take his 3-shot lead into the second round where he will be paired with Oosthuizen.  Els and Danny Willett will play in the penultimate group.  Willett is one of seven players tied at 3-under par in fourth place.  Others at the same score include Thomas Bjorn, Paul Lawrie, and Jeev Milka Singh.

Rain and wind will continue to plague the tournament until Sunday, when partly cloudy and breezy conditions are predicted.

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