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Jaidee Goes Low in European Tour Event
Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee fired a 7-under 65 to take the opening-round lead in the 33-man Volvo Golf Champions. The European Tour event, reserved only for winners from the previous year, started Thursday at Durban Country Club in Durban, South Africa.
The 43-year-old Jaidee carded eight birdies and a bogey to forge a three-stroke lead over two South African major winners, Louis Oosthuizen and Ernie Els.
Windy conditions had a big effect on the scores, though observers wouldn't notice that with Jaidee's exceptional performance. "I enjoyed the course, which requires you to think a lot," he said.
"I used a driver only twice and found my 3-iron I put in my bag just before teeing off very useful."
Seven players carded 69s, and another four had 70s. Defending champion Branden Grace, a four-time winner last season, opened with a five-bogey, one-birdie 75.
Retief Goosen marked his return to competition five months after undergoing surgery to repair a "totally disintegrated" disk in his back. The two-time U.S. Open champion had an even-par 72.