Rose in sight of leaders

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Justin Rose was four shots off the pace with a three-under-par 69 after the first round of South Africa's Tour Championship in Malelane yesterday.

The Englishman, who is challenging for the Southern African Tour Order of Merit title, shared 11th place after the opening round. Rose, with titles in February's Dunhill Championship on the European Tour, and the Nashua Masters last weekend, shot six birdies, but his round was spoiled by a double-bogey and bogey.

South Africa's Bradford Vaughan led by one shot afrom South Africa's Nic Henning and Scotland's Doug McGuigan, with Lee Slattery of England a further stroke off the pace.

Spain's Paula Marti set the standard with a five-under-par 68 in the first round of the Australian LPG Championship in Sydney. The defending champion Laura Davies finished down the field after a four-over-par 77, but England's Nicola Moult and Scotland's Kathryn Marshall shot matching scores of 70 to finish just off the lead.