Darren Fichardt in action. Photo: EPA/ALEXANDRA WEY

SUN CITY - Pretoria-based Darren Fichardt was the surprise joint-leader at the halfway stage of the first round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City on Thursday.

The 2017 Joburg Open champion got into the field only on Thursday morning after England’s Anthony Wall withdrew from the tournament because of injury.

Teeing off on the par-5 10th hole, Fichardt went birdie-birdie-bogey before making further birdies at the 14th and 17th. After shooting a 33 he turned at three-under-par alongside France’ Victor Dubuisson and England’s Paul Waring.

A further shot back at two-under-par at mid-day were a big group of players including South Africans Louis Oosthuizen and Haydn Porteous.

Struggling in the early stages of “Africa’s Major” were former champion Thomas Bjorn, who was at four-over par after five holes, and South Africans Dean Burmester, George Coetzee and Dylan Frittelli who were all at three-over-par.

Defending champion Alex Noren was one-under-par after three holes.

IOL Sport

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