Davidse leads with 63 at broom-and-fork Joburg Open

Joburg Open golf tournament numbers grow

In a major change for the Joburg Open 2018, the Asian Tour has been added as the third sanctioning tour to endorse the Joburg Open along with longstanding PGA's the Sunshine Tour and European Tour.

Although some rain fell Thursday at the suburban club, there was no threat of play being suspended or abandoned for the 240 competitors.

A group of six players were a stroke back, at seven-under-par, including South Africans Jared Harvey, Erik van Rooyen and Ockie Strydom.

"I'm obviously very happy", said the 28-year-old.

Oosthuizen's freaky injury, however, opens up the door for red-hot compatriot Dylan Frittelli, who won in Mauritius last week, to try and secure his place at the 2018 Masters at Augusta National. I did not really have any expectations coming into the week.

"It's a good test, no golf course is easy, and you still had to hit your ball in the right areas and make the putts".

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He had a disappointing day, making just four birdies to go with three bogeys for a one-under 70 on the Bushwillow course.

The 2010 Open champion jammed his fingers in the trolley bay at the O.R. Tambo International Airport and was unable to hold his clubs properly when he arrived at the Randpark Golf Club on Wednesday. "Unfortunately, I don't think I will be able to play this week".

The Joburg Open remains the only South African tournament serving as an official qualifier for The Open Championship in the United Kingdom and the stakes could not be higher to clinch the title.

Title favourite and former British Open victor Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa withdrew after a freak eve-of-tournament accident.

American Cody Martin took his place and returned a 71.