Ferreira Leads in South Africa in His Pro Debut

By Sports NetworkJanuary 10, 2008, 5:00 pm
European TourJOHANNESBURG, South Africa - Tyrone Ferreira, South Africa's top amateur last year, made his professional debut a memorable one on Thursday.
He fired a 6-under-par 65 to share the first-round lead of the Joburg Open with Mark Murless.
Sion E. Bebb, Pablo Larrazabal and Ross McGowan share third place at 5-under 66.
Play rotates between the East and West courses at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club through the first two rounds with the East Course taking over for the final two rounds.
Rain fell throughout the day on Thursday and the West Course played much easier.
'I'm very happy with a 65 in these conditions,' acknowledged Murless. 'But the East Course will be a lot tougher - instead of hitting wedges in like today, you'll be hitting 8-, 7-, or 6-iron into the greens.'
Despite the strong play of Sunshine Tour regular Murless, Ferreira was the story on Thursday.
Ferreira, who registered 10 top-10s in amateur events last year, took eighth at Sunshine Tour Q School. He admitted feeling some nerves in his professional debut, but they did not last long.
'I was very nervous, but once I had hit my first tee shot I was okay,' said Ferreira. 'On the second, I hit a driver and three-wood to just short of the green, chipped to two feet and made the birdie putt and that good start helped for the rest of the day.'
After the birdie at two, Ferreira recorded back-to-back birdies from the fourth. He parred his next four holes to make the turn at 3-under-par 33.
On the back nine, Ferreira rattled off three birdies in a four-hole span from the 11th. The 20-year-old Ferreira churned out four straight pars to grab his share of the lead.
'I hit the ball well today, I was getting it close to the flag and then the putts started dropping,' Ferreira said. 'I know this course quite well because while I've been in the School of Champions for the last two years we've played here most Tuesdays.'
Murless posted two birdies and a bogey through his first six holes. He tallied another birdie at nine to spark a spectacular run that vaulted him to the top of the leaderboard.
He rattled off four birdies in a row to start his second nine. That made five in a row for Murless, who parred out to join Ferreira in first.
David Drysdale, Gary Lockerbie, Oliver Bekker, Garth Mulroy, Ryan Reid, Marco Ruiz and Sven Struver are knotted in sixth place at 4-under-par 67.
Darren Clarke was supposed to play in the Royal Trophy in Thailand, but the event was cancelled after the death of Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana, the elder sister of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Clarke might have wished the Royal Trophy was back on because he shot a 2-over 73 and is tied for 89th place.
The event is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and Sunshine Tour.
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    Kang on cheating allegation: 'I did the right thing'

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 1:26 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Three weeks after his playing partner claimed that he “cheated”  while taking an improper drop at the Quicken Loans National, Sung Kang insisted Thursday that he did nothing wrong.

    Joel Dahmen tweeted that Kang cheated after a lengthy dispute about where his ball had last crossed the line of a hazard. A PGA Tour official ruled in Kang’s favor, he made par on the hole, shot 64 and earned one of the available spots in the Open Championship.

    Kang didn’t learn of the controversy until the next day, when he received an email from a PGA Tour communications official seeking comment. He researched online what the furor was about, then issued a brief statement through the Tour (which added its own statement, saying that there was “no clear evidence” to suggest that Kang dropped incorrectly).

    Kang said he tried to clear the air with Dahmen before the first round of last week’s John Deere Classic, but they never had the opportunity to discuss their differences.

    “I followed the rules official and I think I did the right thing,” Kang told a handful of reporters Thursday following his opening round at Carnoustie, where he shot a 2-under 69 to sit three shots off the early lead.

    Kang said he was hesitant to discuss the incident with reporters, because he said there clearly was a difference in opinions. He said he’d already told his side to South Korean news outlets but that “whatever I say, some people are going to trust it and some people are not going to trust it. Then I’ve got to think about it more and more when it’s not going to help my golf game.”

    “I really want to say a lot of things about it, the truth about what happened,” he added, “but I’m not going to say anything.”

    Kang said that he wouldn’t alter his approach when dealing with rulings in the future.

    “No. Why?” he said. “I did the right thing. There’s no point in changing.”

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    Kisner (67) enjoying 'frat' life, soccer matches with Jordan and Co.

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:49 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The frat house tradition continued this year at The Open, with a group of seven high-profile Americans rooming together for the week, including early first-round leader Kevin Kisner.

    Kisner explained after his opening 5-under 66 that the group – which includes Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler – has spent the week talking about how demanding Carnoustie is playing and enjoying the summer weather.

    “We're out there playing soccer at night and hanging out,” he said.

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    To be clear, this isn’t a proper soccer match, but instead a penalty-kick situation with all but one player taking turns trying to score.

    “I just try to smash [Dufner] in the face,” Kisner laughed. “He's the all-time goalie.”

    Although Kisner said he’s always impressed with the athletic prowess of other players, Spieth has proven himself particularly adept on the impromptu pitch.

    “Jordan scored when Duf tripped, it was hilarious,” Kisner smiled. “[Spieth] is good until he sends it over the goal four houses over, and we've got to go knock on a neighbor’s door for the soccer ball.”

    The group is actually staying in two local houses that are next to each other, one with a large enough back yard and a soccer net, but perhaps not enough soccer balls.

    “We’re going to have to Amazon Prime a couple new balls to replace the ones we lost,” Kisner said.

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    Van Rooyen continues links run with impressive 67

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:27 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – For Erik van Rooyen familiarity has not bred contempt.

    The South African, like many European Tour players, has been on a links golf odyssey the last three weeks, playing the Irish Open, Scottish Open and this week’s Open Championship in consecutive weeks, and the crash course paid off on Day 1 at Carnoustie when he opened with a 4-under 67 to assure himself a spot among the early leaders.

    Although van Rooyen missed the cut last week just down the coast at Gullane Golf Club, he entered the final round in Ireland with a four-stroke lead.

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    “I didn't pull it off the final day,” said van Rooyen, who closed with a 74 to tie for fourth place. “I still think I played pretty well. I was nervous. That's completely normal, and I'll learn how to deal with that. I'll take that experience into tournaments like this.”

    Van Rooyen, who was alone in second place when he completed his round, began his round with back-to-back birdies and was bogey-free until the last hole. It was just what one would expect from a player who has immersed himself in links golf for the better part of a month.

    “We've been playing nice golf now the last three weeks, so definitely used to the way this course is playing, definitely used to handling the wind,” he said. “So I'll be ready.”