American Peterson fires 62 in rain to lead Joburg Open

Aaron Rai and Paul Waring were joint second after carding seven under 65 on the tougher East Course.

American Paul Peterson defied torrential rain to fire a first-round 62 in the Joburg Open Thursday before the weather forced play to be suspended for the day.

Almost half of the 210-man field was still out on the course when heavy rain arrived, forcing an early end to play.

The par-72 east and par-71 west courses at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club are being used for the tournament.

Peterson made the most of the early-morning drier conditions with four birdies in his opening six holes, with the Czech Masters champion adding another at the ninth to reach the turn in 31. Soderberg, who played in last year's U.S. Open at Oakmont (MC), is pegging it up for just the third time on the European Tour this season despite claiming the 12th card at Q School last November.

YE Yang, the 1999 PGA Championship victor, carded a one-under 71 on the East course; 2008 Masters champion Trevor Immelman was three-over through 12 on the East; and 2011 Open champion Darren Clarke was two-over on the East. I got into a nice rhythm and I put a new putter in play this week.

The amateur was handed a start at the European Tour event by organisers thanks to his championship win in Australia past year and Scottish Golf's links with the South African Golf Association.

He said: "Connor says he was driving well off the tee but the courses are very wet so he got couple of bad breaks with mud balls and didn't quite take all his chances on the greens".

South African players have won seven of the 10 editions of the Joburg Open, with Jbe Kruger the best-placed home player after a six-under 65.

"It was fun out there and bogey-free to match". Kruger is one of only three players in the field already exempt for the major at Royal Birkdale.

  • Carolyn Briggs