Gogele takes flight

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The Independent Online
Thomas Gogele shot a course record eight-under 64 at the Houghton Golf Club to hold the first-round lead in the Alfred Dunhill PGA in Johannesburg yesterday.

The only blemish on the German's card came at the par-four fourth, where his wayward one-iron tee shot hit the trees and he had to settle for a five. Gogele, the son of the former European Tour professional Karl-Heinz, could have matched the title holder Sven Struver's 63, recorded in the rain-shortened event last year. However, Struver's 63 was not allowed as a course record as placement of the ball on the fairways was permitted because of the poor weather conditions.

Gogele's putt for an eagle on the par-five ninth slipped 10ft past and he had to work hard for the birdie. But the 26-year-old from Munich was far from unhappy about his approach play.

"I didn't have to hole anything really long," he said. "Just about all the birdies were from six or seven foot. I am playing the best golf of my year so far. I'm relaxed and getting a little more consistent."

Massimo Scarpa, tied for second, teed off on the 10th and started his charge to the top of the leaderboard by chipping in for a birdie at the par-four 13th and immediately followed that with birdies on the next two holes to be out in 33.

Retief Goosen was bracketed with Scarpa on seven-under after going out in 33 and returning in 32. The South African was aided by hitting to 10ft for an eagle on the 463-metre 15th and making the putt.

Scores, Digest, page 25