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Brooks leads rain-hit Mandela Championship in first round

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The Canadian Press
12/12/2013 10:39:03 AM
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DURBAN, South Africa -- England's Daniel Brooks shot an 8 under 62 to take a one-stroke lead in the Nelson Mandela Championship on Wednesday after heavy rain disrupted the first round.

Play at the Mount Edgecombe Country Club began seven hours late after rain left many of the fairways waterlogged. More than half the field failed to complete their rounds and play is scheduled to re-start at 0400 GMT on Thursday in order to catch up.

Brook is being pursued by a group of French players, led by Francois Calmels on 63 and followed by Edouard Dubois and Romain Wattel a stroke further back.

Sweden's Joel Sjoholm and Ryan Cairns of Zimbabwe share fifth place after carding 65s.

Brooks, who kept his European Tour card after last month's Qualifying School, produced eight birdies in his bogey-free round. Although play was suspended shortly after he birdied the 17th hole, the Englishman decided to carry on and finish his round.

"I was completely focused on getting to the 18th tee box when we got called in," Brooks said. "That probably helped, in a way, because I just kept playing and the result was good."

The course was reduced to a par-70 track: The 293-meter (320-yard) par-4 fifth was converted into a 130-meter (142-yard) par-3 because of the waterlogged fairway.

"It's not too bad and they've shortened a few holes as well," Brooks added. "If you're hitting it on the fairways it's pretty score-able."

Daniel Brooks (Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
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