News24.com | SA caddie helps Frenchman Roussel share Alfred Dunhill Championship lead

Robin Roussel and his caddie

Robin Roussel and his caddie

Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Frenchman Robin Roussel and Poland’s Adrian Meronk share the lead after the opening round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek.

The duo produced rounds of seven-under-par 65 to lead the field by one shot.

Roussel, who is a European Challenge Tour graduate, was grateful to his South African caddie Army Nathi Mdluli for the role he played in his five birdies on the back nine.

“I started the round pretty well so that put me a little bit in confidence,” he said.

“I had a bunch of good birdies and good putts especially. I’m lucky to have Army on the bag, who is a local so he gets to read the greens pretty well,” Roussel told the European Tour following his round.

“He helped a lot… I think without him I wouldn’t have been able to put all these in. Good drives, good iron shots and good putts so I’m quite happy.”

Meronk played an almost flawless opening round as he scored two eagles, four birdies and one bogey for the share of the lead.

Englishman Richard Bland shot seven birdies and two bogeys to sign a 5-under 67 to sit third.

Ockie Strydom is the highest South African on the leaderboard as he carded a bogey-free opening round of 4-under 68 to sit T4.

Several South Africans including Garrick Higgo and Daniel van Tonder are currently tied for sixth on 3-under.

Leading scores after first round of European Tour/Sunshine Tour co-sanctioned Alfred Dunhill Championship at par 72 Leopard Creek Country Club near the northeastern town of Malelane in South Africa Thursday (RSA unless noted):

65 – Adrian Meronk (POL), Robin Roussel (FRA)

66 – Scott Jamieson (SCO)

67 – Richard Bland (ENG)

68 – Gavin Green (MAS), Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez (ESP), Ockie Strydom

69 – Christiaan Basson, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Jacques Blaauw, Steven Brown (ENG), Benjamin Follett-Smith (ZIM), David Horsey (ENG), Matthew Jordan (ENG), Masahiro Kawamura (JPN), Jbe Kruger, Joost Luiten (NED), James du Preez, Jayden Trey Schaper, Marcel Siem (GER), Daniel van Tonder, Oliver Wilson (ENG), Chris Wood (ENG)

Selected

70 – Joachim B. Hansen (DEN)

71 – Wilco Nienaber

74 – Pablo Larrazabal (ESP)

Featured second round tee times:

06:30 – Vincent Scott, MJ Daffue, Ockie Strydom

06:40 – JC Ritchie, Masahiro Kawamura, Garrick Higgo

07:00 – Wilco Nienaber, Robert Macintyre, George Coetzee

07:10 – Eddie Pepperell, Joachim B. Hansen, Christiaan Bezuidenhout

12:00 – Pablo Larrazabal, Daniel van Tonder, Matthias Schwab

12:10 – Adrian Otaegui, Brandon Stone, Adri Arnaus

12:50 – Richard Bland, Joel Sjoholm, Keith Horne

– Compiled by Lynn Butler

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