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Dyson Leads Weather-Suspended Tshwane Open


England's Simon Dyson fired a 7-under 65 to take the opening-round lead at the Tshwane Open. The event started Thursday at the Ernie Els-designed, 7,964-yard - the European Tour's longest course - Copperleaf Golf and Country Estate in Centurion, South Africa.

Dyson posted seven birdies - including his last four holes - for a one-stroke lead over South Africans Jared Harvey and Erik Van Rooyen and fellow Brit Ross Fisher.

Also at 7-under was Trevor Fisher Jr. The South African still has to complete two holes to finish his round as a thunderstorm came through the area and suspended play for the day.

Dyson, a six-time European Tour winner, was pleased with his start. "It was really nice," he told the European Tour website. "I had made three really good up and downs on the holes before (his birdie run that started on the 15th hole). I I drove it in the bunker down 12 and then missed the green left and chipped it to about 10 feet and rolled that one in for par.

"On the next I hit a good shot and it just released and rolled into the bunker and I upped-and-downed that, rolled in about an eight-footer for par. I flew the green at 14 and then made a really good up and down. You just kick on after that and next I had the par five, where you always have a chance.

"Putting has been the let-down for the last few weeks, but me and my caddie had a chat about what I'm doing wrong," Dyson added. "We spent about an hour and a half on the putting green yesterday and I managed to get a good feel for it. I holed a good six-footer for par at the first and then about a 40-footer for birdie at the second and that was it, I was off and running.

"It's a lovely start. It's my lowest round in a good few years, especially on the first day. It just puts you in a nice frame of mind, a good stead, and sets it up nicely to have a good weekend."

After a flawless, five-birdie day, the Harvey was also satisfied with his start. "It was a good start and everything fell into place today," the 25-year-old told the Tour's website. "I was very happy with my all-round game and it's always nice to get off to a decent start and know that everything can flow. All in all, I'm excited."

Defending champion Dawie van der Walt, who won by two strokes in the event's inaugural year in 2013 over fellow South African Darren Fichardt, was 5-over par through 16 holes before the suspension of play.

For all the scores, visit http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/season=2014/tournamentid=2014015/leaderboard/index.html.