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Harding holds 1st round at Tshwane
11 Feb 2016 16:04
South Africa's Justin Harding made the most of a ‘jammy’ moment to claim a one-shot lead as home players dominated the opening round of the Tshwane Open.
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Harding birdied five of his last eight holes at Pretoria Country Club to record a seven-under-par 63, with compatriots Anthony Michael and Theunis Spangenberg on six and five under respectively.
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Ireland’s Kevin Phelan was well in the mix until a disastrous last two holes saw him drop three shots.
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He was on level par after one birdie and one bogey on his opening 16 holes, but then he went bogey, double bogey on 17 and 18.
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Phelan dropped from just outside the top 20 to a piece of tied 81st and hovering around the cut mark on three over.
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A total of ten South African players ended the day inside the top 16, with Jaco van Zyl on four under and defending champion George Coetzee part of an 11-strong group on two under.
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The group on minus two included Scottish trio Jamie McLeary, Andrew McArthur and Scott Henry.
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World number 509 Harding chipped in on the 18th to complete a back nine of 30, having missed the cut in his last three events.
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"I felt like I hit it quite nicely although I was quite jammy on the last - I chipped in from a position that otherwise was not very good. So that was a great way to finish the day," he said"
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