PAARL, South Africa (AP) — Paraguay’s Fabrizio Zanotti shot an 8-under 64 Thursday in the first round of the South African Open.
He’s one stroke ahead of Sweden’s Oskar Henningson, the winner of the European Tour Qualifying School. Zanotti, who regained his European playing privileges with a 16th place, had nine birdies and one bogey at the 10th hole.
“I drove into the bunker and had a terrible lie, so I just had to try and move it out of there, then chipped up to the green but didn’t make my par. But that was the only bad hole,” he said.
Rory Sabbatini joined a group of eight golfers who shot 66. His wife Amy was the caddie, and he attributed his change in fortunes – after a poor Nedbank Challenge and Alfred Dunhill Championship – to her.
“I was a little more patient, because I know she’ll give me a harder time than my caddie, so I think just maybe that’s the key,” he said. “Just kind of taking a step back and kind of letting the putts go in instead of trying to force them in.”
Tied with Sabbatini were South Africans Keith Horne and Jaco van Zyl, England’s Ross McGowan and Lee Westwood, Scotland’s Richie Ramsay, Northern Ireland’s Gareth Maybin and Sweden’s Ake Nilsson.
Four-time South African Open champion Ernie Els shrugged off a double-bogey on the second hole to shoot 67.