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Pieters leads Goosen struggles in Africa Open

2009 European TourEAST LONDON, South Africa – Branden Grace holed a 9-iron approach at the 18th green to get within a shot of Brandon Pieters for the Africa Open lead after Thursday’s partially completed first round.

Grace’s eagle lifted him to 6-under 67, with Pieters’ early 66 holding up when play was called off with 24 players still on the course in gathering darkness at East London Golf Club. A dense coastal fog in the morning had caused an 1 1/2 -hour delay at the European Tour event.

Three bogeys on the way home ruined a superb start by defending champion Charl Schwartzel, who shot a 69.

Two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen labored to a 75, while Darren Clarke, who was second to Goosen in 2009, had a 69.