Golf

Van Zyl sets pace in Africa Open

Jaco van Zyl of South Africa lines up a putt
Jaco van Zyl lines up a putt on the seventh green during the Africa Open.
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EAST LONDON, South Africa (AP)

Jaco van Zyl of South Africa shot a 6-under-par 66 to hold a two-stroke clubhouse lead at the Africa Open on Thursday before the wind-affected first round was suspended because of darkness.

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Van Zyl was among the 84 players from the 156-man field to complete the round, with strong winds causing a delay of nearly three hours midway through the day.

Adilson Da Silva of Brazil joined Van Zyl on 6 under by rolling in a birdie putt on No. 9 just as the siren sounded to end the day's play at 6.55 p.m. local time.

Organizers of the Sunshine Tour confirmed the putt counted toward the score of Da Silva, who still has nine holes left when play resumes at 7 a.m. local time on Friday.

John Parry of England shot a 68 to be Van Zyl's nearest challenger in the clubhouse.

Van Zyl was 4 under when play was first suspended just before midday. Upon resumption, he made birdies at the par-4 5th and 6th holes after driving both greens, and then made pars on his way home.

"The wind was really, really brutal out there, especially over the front nine," he said. "It was a struggle to stand and keep your balance over your putts, so the suspension was a good call."

South Africans have dominated the event lately, with compatriots Louis Oosthuizen (twice) and Charl Schwartzel having won in East London the past three years.

Tagged: Adilson Da Silva, Jaco Van Zyl

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