Flawless Bezuidenhout 3 back in round 1 of Irish Open

Christiaan Bezuidenhout fired a flawless five-under-par 67 on Thursday on a low-scoring opening day of the European Tour’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Mount Juliet Estate in Thomastown, County Kilkenny, Ireland.

The South African world number 47 looked in imperious form as he topped the field in greens in regulation and in scrambling. Just a little more accuracy off the tee and little sharpening up on his putting, and he will be right up there with the leader. Australia’s Lucas Herbert topped the leaderboard at eight-under, and he held a one-shot lead over American Johannes Veerman.

Bezuidenhout was in a share of fourth with 14 other players, including Tommy Fleetwood, Andy Sullivan and Martin Kaymer.

Justin Walters carded a three-under-par 69 to share 37th with Zander Lombard and Justin Harding. Shaun Norris was on two-under, while George Coetzee carded a one-under 71. Haydn Porteous was on level-par, with Darren Fichardt, Dean Burmester and Daniel van Tonder on one-over 73. Thomas Aiken carded three-over, and Brandon Stone and Wilco Nienaber signed for six-over.

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