Skip to main content

Birdie flurry gets Goosen one back in Africa

Retief Goosen
Getty Images
VIENNA, AUSTRIA - SEPTEMBER 19: Benn Barham of England tee's off at the 7th during the third round of the Austrian Golf Open at Fontana Golf Club on September 19, 2009 in Vienna, Austria. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)  - 

EAST LONDON, South Africa – South Africa’s Thomas Aiken shot a 9-under 64 at the Africa Open for a one-shot lead after the first round of the European Tour’s season-opening tournament.

Aiken had five birdies and two eagles at the par-73 East London Golf Club on Thursday for a single stroke advantage over Retief Goosen and another South African, Jaco Ahlers.

Video: Africa Open Round 1 highlights

Phillip PriceMichael Du toit and Dean O’Riley shared fourth on 7 under.

Aiken, two-time major winner Goosen and Sweden’s Peter Hedblom were the first group off on South Africa’s south coast to start the Tour’s 2012 Race to Dubai.

Goosen, after bogeying his first hole, had nine birdies, including five consecutive from Nos. 11-15.

Defending champion Louis Oosthuizen was tied for 25th after a 4-under 69.

Aiken had an early eagle on the par-5 No. 11, his third hole. He added birdies on Nos. 16, 17 and 18.

“I’d call that a memorable start,” said Aiken, who earned his first European Tour win in 2011. “I haven’t taken a cover off a club for two weeks. So I have to say, this is a great result.”