The 2018 DP World Tour season is off, with Spain’s Angel Hidalgo sharing the lead following a rain-stricken first day at the Joburg Open.
Hidalgo birdied two of his final four holes to finish with a 65 and set the clubhouse goal at Randpark GC, where he was tied for the lead with South Africa’s Thriston Lawrence with one hole remaining when play was delayed due to the threat of lightning.
Lawrence had an interesting first day, with two eagles, three birdies, and a single bogey, while England’s Ashley Chesters is just a shot back after five birdies in a six-hole stretch pushed him to a five-under 65.
On four under, Dylan Frittelli, one of only four players in the competition who has previously qualified for The Open, leads the group, with Englishmen Dale Whitnell and Ross Fisher three shots back.
Dean Burmester, the highest-ranked player in the field, blasted the first tee shot of the DP World Tour season on his way to an opening-round 72, while JC Ritchie, despite a hole-in-one at the par-three 17th, was also one over.
42 of the 156 players were unable to finish before the tournament was called off at 5.05 p.m. local time (3.05 p.m. GMT), with those players expected to conclude their first rounds on Friday morning.
This week’s tournament is the first of a 47-tournament DP World Tour schedule, and it also kicks off The Open Qualifying Series, with the top three players in the top 10 – who aren’t already exempt – receiving bids to next year’s major at St Andrews.
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