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    Player News: Week 15

    Player News: Week 15
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    DFS Analysis: Cooper, Martin

    DFS Analysis: Cooper, Martin
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    Dose: Wentz Questionable

    Dose: Wentz Questionable
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    Dose: Conner Back for Wk 15?

    Dose: Conner Back for Wk 15?
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    Dose: Ekeler in Doubt
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    NBA Waivers: Melton, Burks
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    Week 14 Starts: Baker Mayfield

    Week 14 Starts: Baker Mayfield

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Darren Fichardt carded very few pars on his way to a 3-under-par 34-35=69 in round one of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek CC in Malelane, South Africa.

His lap left him just three back of the round one leader Oliver Bekker, but it was a rum effort from the veteran South African. He started on the back nine and painted four birdies to start at the 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th. He added another at the 15th but then gave two shots back at the 16th and 17th. The leaking continued at the first only for two red numbers to follow at the second and third. He then went birdie-bogey-bogey from the sixth which meant that he managed only five pars all day. He missed the cut last week in the SA Open, but was T9 in the recent Nedbank Challenge. He’s played the course 16 times, winning on debut in 2001 and adding four top 20s since.
Dec 13 - 1:32 PM

Veteran Robert Karlsson made a strong start on his debut in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek CC in Malelane, South Africa, carding a 3-under-par 34-35=69 which left him T4 at the end of Thursday.

The Swede will sleep on a deficit of three shots (behind leader Oliver Bekker) and will hope to perform in better fashion than the last time he was top five after 18 holes on the European Tour. That occasion was the Open de France this year when he shot 69-80 to go from T4 to missing the cut. Previously, in 2017, he shot 65-74 to start the Made in Denmark. That time he was T4 after 18 holes and made the cut, but only just. The Swede made a patriotic start to his round: splashing yellow on the card with an eagle-3 at the second then adding blue at three and four. An odd way to play to par. His birdies came first at the ninth and 11th, then again at the 17th and 18th with a bogey in between at the 14th.
Dec 13 - 1:27 PM

Dylan Frittelli carved a 3-under-par 37-32=69 to hit the end of the first round in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek CC in Malelane, South Africa in T4, three swings behind the leader Oliver Bekker.

The 28-year-old made largely serene progress round the course which fringes the Kruger National Park, but the wildlife bit him hard on the 18th (his ninth) hole. He had ticked the 11th and 14th holes when out of nowhere he made a double bogey-7 at the 552-yard par-5 18th. But he stayed calm and coolly turned the second, sixth and eighth holes red. It is the tenth first round top ten position of his European Tour career and his third best. However only three times out of nine has he progressed from a fast start into a final round top ten. He has three top 25s on the course in his career but is still seeking a first top ten.
Dec 13 - 1:21 PM

Oliver Bekker thrashed a superb 6-under-par 33-33=66 to take the first round lead by one shot from Dimitrios Papadatos in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek CC in Malelane, South Africa.

The 34-year-old South African has never previously owned a first round lead on the European Tour so it is rare territory for him although he has quietly managed 11 top ten positions after 18 holes, the last three all in the Mauritius Open. His previous best was T2 in this event in 2012 although he will hope for a better 54 holes to follow his opening lap. Six years ago he shot 67-77-72–72 for T47 by the end of the week. He started on the back nine and ticked 11, 12, 13 and 14 for a superb start. His front nine witnessed ticks at 4, 6 and 8 with a bogey at the seventh. "Definitely a great afternoon on the golf course," he said. "The wind died a little bit on us so I’m glad to have been able to take advantage of that. The greens are really firm but I drove it well so I was in fairway most of the time so I could control my ball. I think the changes on this golf course are good for my game."
Dec 13 - 1:13 PM

Liam Johnston utilized his local links to shoot an opening round of 3-under-par 35-34=69 in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek CC in Malelane, South Africa, good for T3 on the live leaderboard, two swings behind the early clubhouse lead.

The Scot had a rollercoaster front nine which witnessed two early birdies at the first and second, dropped shots at three, four and seven, then a much needed par breaker at the ninth. The back nine witnessed more ground made: ticks at 13, 14, 15 and 18, one cross at 17. He is inexperienced at this level with just seven starts and a best of T22 in the European Open. He’s also 1-for-3 for the year with a best of T72. But keep an eye on him the rest of the week. He’s a three-time winner in the year (once on the third tier Pro Golf Tour, twice on the Challenge Tour), he’s also earned two invites to the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship via a relationship with the Dunhill owner Johann Rupert – also owner of Leopard Creek - off the back of winning the SA Amateur here in 2017.
Dec 13 - 8:06 AM

Pablo Larrazabal twirled a 3-under-par 36-33=69 in round one of the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa and slotted in at tied third after his morning circuit of the new-look Leopard Creek.

His efforts put him two behind Aussie pacesetter Dimitrios Papadatos. The Spaniard has been a sporadic visitor to this event, teeing it up previously in 2007, 2012 and 2016 but he did manage to take T23 last time after an opening 67. However, he's still to finish in the top 15 in any tournament in South Africa (13 starts) despite expressing on Twitter how much he relishes going there. He has the chance to change that record this week after outpacing a single bogey with four birdies. Starting at 10, the World No. 226 birdied 13 and 16 before his lone blemish of the round at the par-3 17th. On his inward nine, Larrazabal moved up the leaderboard with gains at 6 and 8.
Dec 13 - 7:18 AM

Raphael Jacquelin is a former runner-up at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa and he's in place to deliver another big finish after starting out with a 4-under-par 35-33=68 in round one, good enough for solo second in the clubhouse and just a shot back from leader Dimitrios Papadatos.

The Frenchman posted his second place at Houghton in 2004 before the tournament moved to Leopard Creek the year after. Jacquelin never came back to play the new venue so had no past or present comparisons to make after the par 72 underwent alterations ahead of this year's edition. He certainly enjoyed his first lap there this morning, finishing his round with birdies on the par 5s at 13, 15 and 18. Prior to that, he'd picked up shots at 2, 6 and 10 and also swallowed back-to-back bogeys at 4 and 5. On the one previous occasion in his last 11 starts he opened with a sub-70 round, the World No. 489 finished T7 at September's Portugal Masters.
Dec 13 - 6:56 AM

David Drysdale has cracked the top 25 in his last five starts at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa and the course horse was at it again Thursday, painting a 3-under-par 36-33=69 at Leopard Creek to lie T3 after the completion of the morning wave.

That's two swings back from leader Dimitrios Papadatos. The Scot was certainly one for #teamcourseform due to his record at the Gary Player design which shows four top 11s between 2010 and 2016. There was a niggling doubt, though, after he withdrew from last week's South African Open with an arm injury after an opening 73. Drysdale, who took T5 in Hong Kong on his season opener last month, played a fairly calm opening 13 holes with his only deviations from par a pair of birdies on the par 5s at 13 and 2. But then came a wild finish as he posted bogey-birdie-birdie-bogey-birdie over his final five holes. Although Leopard Creek has undergone some major renovation work, the 69s shot by Drysdale and 2016 winner Brandon Stone this morning suggest past course form is still holding up.
Dec 13 - 6:45 AM
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