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Brooks home in 62 before deluge ruins first round

It was a case of déjà vu in deluged Durban.

Alastair Forsyth hits a drive en route to a steady 68 in the Nelson Mandela Championship at Mount Edgecombe CC. Picture: Stuart Franklin/Getty
Alastair Forsyth hits a drive en route to a steady 68 in the Nelson Mandela Championship at Mount Edgecombe CC. Picture: Stuart Franklin/Getty

A year ago, the Nelson Mandela Championship was reduced to 36 holes as the rain thundered down in KwaZulu-Natal.

Scott Jamieson was the ultimate beneficiary then, claiming his maiden European Tour crown as the leader after two rounds. Yesterday, the start of the Scot's title defence was washed out as the downpours caused a seven-hour delay at Mount Edgecombe and left over half the field twiddling their thumbs and waiting to start.

The Englishman Daniel Brooks managed to get home and dry over a sodden course with a sizzling eight-under 62 as he set the early pace before play was suspended in the fading light. Brooks, who retained his tour card at the qualifying school last month after a disappointing rookie campaign in 2013, had four birdies in five holes around the turn to surge to the top of the leaderboard.

That left him narrowly ahead of a host of Fresh pursuers, with Francois Calmels second on seven under and Romain Wattel and Edouard Dubois tied for third a shot further back.

Paisley's Alastair Forsyth, who has made the cut in his first two tour events of the season since regaining his playing rights, opened with a steady two-under 68 which was aided by a late eagle. Forsyth, a two-time winner on the main circuit, was the only home hopeful to complete his round as tournament organisers were left playing catch up.

They were hoping to resume play at the crack of dawn this morning in an attempt to claw back the time lost. The championship, the final European Tour event before the Christmas break, had already been brought forward a day to avoid a clash with Mandela's state funeral on Sunday.

n Scotland, the holders, are joint second with Ireland and Sweden at the halfway point in the PGAs of Europe International Team Cham­pion­ship at Palmares on Portugal's Algarve coastline, writes Colin Farquharson.

Graham Fox, of Clydeway Golf, lost the lead with a 76 for four-over 148, three shots behind the new leader, Sweden's Magnus Atlevi who had a one-under 71, the first sub par score of a tournament which opened in a gale-force wind on Tuesday, underlining how well Fox played for his first-day 72. He did well to salvage a 76 after bogeying five holes in a row from the third.

Greg McBain, soon to be attached to Kemnay GC, improved by five shots in 24 hours with a 74 for 153 - he finished strongly with birdies at two par-5 holes - while David Orr (Mearns Castle Golf Academy) had a triple- bogey and two double-bogey 7s in a 79 for 157. Under the best two individual scores to count for the team daily, Orr's round was discarded.

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