Norman suffers

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Southern Africa powered to a 61/2-11/2 lead over Australasia yesterday on the opening day of the Alfred Dunhill Challenge in Johannesburg.

Greg Norman was on the receiving end of two brilliant performances by David Frost and Retief Goosen as the home team took control of the inaugural three-day match between the sides.

Frost had 10 birdies in the morning fourballs to beat Norman and Michael Campbell 3 and 1. Then he and Goosen repeated the score in the foursomes against Norman and Robert Allenby, finishing the match with five successive birdies.

Frost said: "I putted unbelievably well. Retief and I did what was expected of us, but while Michael was hot for them I think Greg was a little out of form."

At least Campbell got something out of the day. He was sent out last in the foursomes with Wayne Grady and they earned a half with Fulton Allem and Wayne Westner. Even that was a disappointment, with Westner sinking a 10-foot birdie putt on the last hole to tie.

Australasia's only winners all day were Vijay Singh and Frank Nobilo, who beat Allem and Henrik Buhrmann 6 and 5 in the fourballs.

Although the occasion lacked the intensity of the Ryder Cup, the golf was of the highest quality. The fourballs produced 61 birdies and one eagle in the 65 holes played.

Gary Player, the Southern Africa team captain, said: "I think the event is still wide open, but irrespective of who wins I hope that a lot of young people come out and watch these guys. They played some great golf."

His opposite number, Terry Gale, said: "I think we were out-putted today. It was disappointing but I think we can come back."

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