Havret keeps bid to end drought alive
PRETORIA: Frenchman Gregory Havret fired a 65 on Thursday to share the Tshwane Open firstround lead as he seeks to end a nineseason trophy drought.
He is at the top of the leaderboard at six-under par with Swede Alexander Bjork and South African Haydn Porteous in the European Tour event in Pretoria.
They led by one stroke from Australian Ben Eccles, Finn Mikko Korhonen, Scot Duncan Stewart, Toby Tree of England and South Africa’s Justin Walters.
Havret has triumphed three times on the European circuit, but not since 2008 when he lifted the Johnnie Walker Championship trophy.
The 40-year-old birdied six holes on the front nine at Pretoria Country Club, then bogeyed 11 and 13 before recovering to claim two more birdies.
Bjork birdied two holes on the front nine and four on the back half of the 7,081-yard layout as he chases a first European Tour title.
Porteous also had two birdies on the outward nine and four on the inward trek in pursuit of a second European triumph after the 2016 Joburg Open.
South African Darren Fichardt, who succeeded Porteous as Joburg Open champion last Sunday, opened with a 69.
Another South African, Trevor Immelman, fared best of the two former major winners in the field by carding a level-par 71.
The other, 2016 Ryder Cup skipper Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland, had two double bogeys in a 74.