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Colsaerts and Haas share first round Nedbank lead at Sun City

Updated: Thursday, 29 Nov 2012 17:13 | Comments

Nicolas Colsaerts plays out of the greenside bunker on the eighth earlier today
Nicolas Colsaerts plays out of the greenside bunker on the eighth earlier today

Nicolas Colsaerts outshone many of his Ryder Cup team-mates to hold a share of the lead after the first round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa.

The Belgian carded a two-under-par 70 to sit level with Bill Haas at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City.

Colsaerts had three birdies and a bogey, while Haas' round featured five birdies and three bogeys.

The American had been on course for a four-under round before dropping two shots in his last three holes.

Paul Lawrie, Louis Oosthuizen and Lee Westwood, the two-time defending champion, were tied for third on one under.

Peter Hanson, Martin Kaymer, Francesco Molinari, Carl Pettersson and Charl Schwartzelwere all a shot further back.

It was a disappointing opening round for Justin Rose, though.

The Englishman, the highest-ranked player in the field at four, finished second at the DP World Tour Championship thanks to his 10-under-par round on the final day, could only manage a one-over-par 73.

After birdies going through the first 10 holes in two under, he then bogeyed the next three to drop down the field and finished the day in 11th.

Colsaerts, who reached the turn at even par before birdies at the 10th and 11th, squandered the chance to take the outright lead when he missed a putt from inside six feet for birdie on the final hole.

But he was pleased with his round given the trouble posed by the wind.

He said on nedbankgolfchallenge.com: "I normally hit it very long off the tee, but around here I chose a less aggressive strategy, even when I was hitting driver.

"I played the same game as everyone.

"The wind was quite difficult to read, and it always felt like it was coming from one side. I had difficulty with it at 18."

Haas revealed he was satisfied to finish the day on two under given the conditions.

"Overall, to get it to four under, I felt like I was doing a lot of good things. I'm happy with two under, but it would have been nice to shoot a couple (more under), because it's playing tough out there."

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