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Four Share Lead in Joburg Open


Two Scots - Alastair Forsyth and Craig Lee - carded 7-under 64s along with South African Justin Walters and Italian Edoardo Molinari to tie for the lead after 18 holes of the Joburg Open. The European Tour event began Thursday at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Forsyth got off to a resounding start, carding six of his seven birdies on the day on the front nine. The 36-year-old Lee had eight birdies and a bogey, the same configuration of scores as Walters and Molinari.

"The front nine was probably as good as I've played in a long time," said Forsyth, a two time winner in Europe whose last title came in the 2008 Madeira Islands Open in Portugal.

"I seemed to do everything right on the front nine, but I struggled a little on the back, where I ended up between clubs a few times. No dropped shots and seven birdies, so I'm never going to complain with that."

Lee has missed the cut in his last five tournaments in South Africa, but is hoping this week will be a different story. "I don't normally play well at all in South Africa, my record here is actually pretty pathetic," said Lee, who's looking for his first European Tour title.

"It's probably a course that should have suited me in the past, because my strength has always been ball-striking. I've never played that great a round here, but my game has gotten slightly better over the years."

If he earns a top-10 finish in the Joburg Open, Lee is hoping that will earn him a spot in the 2014 British Open at Royal Liverpool in July.

The low American after 18 holes is Jason Knutson, who carded a 67.

For all the scores, visit http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/season=2014/tournamentid=2014009/leaderboard/index.html.