Lightweights steal show from Major winner Schwartzel

12 Jan 2012 18:46

Lightweights Damien McGrane of Ireland and Jamie Elson of England stole the show from reigning US Masters champion Charl Schwartzel of South Africa Thursday in the storm-hit Joburg Open first round.

McGrane and Elson -- ranked 250 and 395 respectively in the world -- were the clubhouse leaders after carding eight-under-par 63s on the easier west course at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club.

They are one stroke ahead of South Africans Desvonde Botes and Peter Karmis and Reinier Saxton from the Netherlands in the second event of the 2012 European Tour.

Botes returned a 65 over the tougher par-72 east course and Karmis and Saxton 64s over the west course in one of only three tournaments on the circuit that uses more than one course.

Scots David Drysdale and George Murray, South Africans George Coetzee and Shaun Norris, Swede Joel Sjoholm and Spaniard Carlos Del Moral are a shot further back after 65s over the west layout.

Schwartzel, seeking to emulate Ernie Els, Sir Nick Falso, Colin Montgomerie, Tiger Woods and Ian Woosnam by winning a European Tour event three consecutive times, was level par after 15 holes when bad light stopped play.

Electric storms halted play for more than four hours at both courses in a leafy northern Johannesburg suburb, leaving many of the 210-strong field to complete their first round Friday.