Raphael Jacquelin jumps ahead after the first round of the European Tour event at the Durban Country Club.
Raphael Jacquelin / Getty Images
The conditions were blustery but that did not stop Raphael from carding a first round of -5 under par 67, to lead the Volvo Golf Champions by one shot.
Raphael said he was happy with his bogey free effort;
“I managed to get everything right, a bogey-free round; that’s the key, to go bogey-free every round on this course. It’s a new year and pretty good way for me to start, so that’s great.”
Defending Champion Louis Oosthuizen is just one shot behind, after he recovered from a poor start, a bogey on the first hole, to score -4 under par 68.
Another shot further back, on -3 under par, sharing third place are Darren Clarke and Victor Dubuisson. A now slimline Darren, who has lost three stone in weight over recent months, delivered birdies on the second, eighth, tenth, 14th and 18th. He mentioned his new look;
“It’s something, I took a look at myself in October and thought it’s time to make a change. I am feeling strong. I reached 10 today, whatever it was, hit it 300 off the tee into the wind and hit driver from 285 to 12 feet and I couldn’t have reached there maybe five, six months ago. So hopefully it will pay off.”
Colin Montgomerie is playing well and finished his first round at -2 under par with his opening round of 70. Colin said he struggles on the longer courses, so chooses his events carefully;
“I was playing well at the end of last year and I started to play a lot more golf. I had not been having much fun on 7,500-yard courses on the main tour but I am a member of three tours now (European Tour and two seniors tours) and it’s given me more freedom to choose courses I can get round. It’s very difficult and tricky out there, the wind was coming off the sea and made every hole a crosswind. You have to be very careful, you can make a mess out there in a hurry.”
I would love to see Volvo join the campaign to stop South Africa killing endangered species like Lion, Elephant and Rhino in penned in areas, just for the fun of rich tourists. It’s called canned hunting, the operators breed these animals and put them in penned in areas for tourists to shoot them, and it is legal. It is time to stop the killing of these creatures.