JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – NOVEMBER 24: Dan Bradbury during day 1 of the Joburg Open at Houghton Golf Club on November 24, 2022 in Johannesburg, South Africa. EDITOR’S NOTE: For free editorial use. Not available for sale. No commercial usage. (Photo by Tyrone Winfield/Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images)

Michael Vlismas

JOHANNESBURG –  Englishman Dan Bradbury took full advantage of a sponsor’s invitation and led the suspended first round of the Joburg Open with an eight-under-par 63 at Houghton Golf Club on Thursday. But South Africa’s Thriston Lawrence managed to take some of the spotlight with an historic first for South African professional golf.

Bradbury, who was given the news last Friday that he had an invitation into this tournament, made it into the clubhouse with a round featuring two eagles before the second suspension of the day due to lightning. It earned him a one-stroke clubhouse lead over Germany’s Nick Bachem. The first round will resume at 6:45am on Friday, with the second round scheduled to start at 7:15am.

“It was pretty good to be fair. I can’t really complain. I had some momentum on my second nine and then the first thunderstorm stopped that. But I can’t really complain with a 63. It’s as good a start as I could’ve wished for,” said Bradbury.

Defending champion Lawrence grabbed his own share of the headlines when it was announced that he had won the DP World Tour’s Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award for his two victories – one of which was the Joburg Open last November –, six top-10s and a Major debut this past season. He is the first South African golfer to ever receive this award.

Lawrence celebrated that achievement with an opening five-under-par 66 to place him just three shots off the clubhouse lead.

“It’s a dream come true,” Lawrence said of his award. “If you look at the names on the trophy, it’s incredible. A year ago I didn’t even have a category, so when I started off with a victory, it came to mind straight away to go for this award. To have accomplished it is an incredible feeling – I’m very grateful and honoured.”

Bradbury was equally grateful to have received an invitation into this tournament, and to make his first trip to South Africa.

“I got the phonecall on Friday afternoon so this past weekend was just about getting out here and seeing what I could do. My mom (Sandra) is with me as well so it’s nice to have a bit of company. I’m loving it out here. I got nice and sunburnt yesterday – made that mistake.”

And he was also loving his first experience of golf at altitude.

“This is my first time playing at altitude. I’ve had a local caddie who’s been great helping me get used to it. The ball’s going miles here. Sometimes it just doesn’t make sense. Both eagles (on the par-five third and fifth holes) were great drives and I had nine irons into both. If you can hit it straight off the tee on those it’s key because they’re not the longest holes. I also rolled in a lot of nice mid-range putts.”

Incomplete scores from the suspended first round of the Joburg Open:

-8 – Dan Bradbury

-7 – Nick Bachem

-6 – Romain Langasque, Clement Berardo [11]

-5 – Nathan Kimsey, Sami Valimaki, Thriston Lawrence, Jaco Van Zyl

-4 – Casey Jarvis, Ross Mcgowan, Dylan Mostert, Louis de Jager, Todd Clements, Wilco Nienaber, Simon Forsstrom, Francesco Laporta [12], Jbe’ Kruger [12]

-3 – JJ Senekal, Wynand Dingle, Jacques Kruyswijk, Renato Paratore, James Hart du Preez, Tom McKibbin, Ian Snyman, Christiaan Bezuidenhout [16], Julien Guerrier [15], John Murphy [11]

-2 – Matthew Southgate, Bryce Easton, Gary Boyd, Sean Bradley, Jeremy Freiburghaus [15], Dale Whitnell [15], Kristian Krogh Johannessen [13], Christopher Mivis [11], Keagan Thomas [11], Hennie O’Kennedy [10]

-1 – Jovan Rebula, Craig Howie, Kyle Barker, Jeong Weon Ko, Joachim B. Hansen, Merrick Bremner, Shaun Norris, Robin Williams, Marcel Siem, Martin Vorster, Luke Jerling, Elias Bertheussen, Tom Murray, Franklin Manchest, Keith Horne [17], Marc Warren [16], George Coetzee [16], Zander Lombard [15], MJ Viljoen [15], Daniel van Tonder [14], Jaco Prinsloo [14], Daniel Brown [13], Clement Sordet [13], Siyanda Mwandla [13], Gerhard Pepler [13], CJ du Plessis [11], Jacquin Hess [10]

Par – Oliver Bekker, Martin Rohwer, Richard Sterne, Heinrich Bruiners, Robin Sciot-Siegrist, Deon Germishuys, Santiago Tarrio, Gregory Bourdy, Thomas Aiken, Emilio Cuartero Blanco, Mateusz Gradecki, Keelan van Wyk, Oliver Hundeboll, Jayden Schaper [17], Matthew Baldwin [17], Hennie du Plessis [16], Daniel Gavins [16], Brandon Stone [15], Chase Hanna [14], Anton Karlsson [13], David Drysdale [13], Anthony Michael [13], Sam Hutsby [12], Ruan Conradie [12], Lorenzo Scalise [11], Quintin Wilsnach [10]

+1 – Jordan Duminy, Adriel Poonan, Harvey Byers, Jean Hugo, Pieter Moolman, Dylan Naidoo, Alexander Knappe, JC Ritchie, Jaco Ahlers, Adilson Da Silva, Albert Venter, Toby Tree, Therion Nel, Aman Gupta, Jake Redman [17], Tristen Strydom [17], Angel Hidalgo [17], Nikhil Rama [15], Ruan Korb [13], Neil Schietekat [13], Ricardo Gouveia [12], Jean-Paul Strydom [12], Malcolm Mitchell [11], Alejandro Del Rey [10]

+2 – Oliver Fisher, Darren Fichardt, Martin Simonsen, Combrinck Smit, Musiwalo Nethunzwi, Luca Filippi, Jacques Blaauw [17], James Morrison [15], Freddy Schott [14], Haydn Porteous [14], Madalitso Muthiya [14], Louis Albertse [13], Javier Sainz [11], Tobias Eden [10]

+3 – Matthew Spacey, Aaron Cockerill, Rourke van der Spuy, David Ravetto, Pavan Sagoo, Joshua Lee, Lindani Ndwandwe [17], Keenan Davidse [15], Darius van Driel [14], Mikael Lindberg [14], Philip Eriksson [14], Rhys Enoch [11], Estiaan Conradie [10]

+4 – Herman Loubser, Lyle Rowe, Jens Fahrbring, Thabang Simon, Peter Karmis [17], Ockie Strydom [13]

+5 – Alex Haindl, Jake Bolton, Rupert Kaminski, Luke Brown, Jens Dantorp [16]

+6 – Gudmundur Kristjansson, Stephen Ferreira

+7 – Dwayne Basson, Michael Palmer


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