Coetzee shows off links skills to go 5-under in Scottish Open

Jul 8, 2021 | Featured, South Africans abroad

George Coetzee showed just why he thrives when he plays links golf on Thursday as he fired a five-under-par 66 in the star-studded abrdn Scottish Open on the European Tour to take up a share of fourth after the first round at the Renaissance Club in North Berwick, Scotland.

Starting his round on the 10th, he had picked up three shots by the time he was through sixth. He picked up another after the turn, but then made his solitary bogey on the second. He picked up two more birdies on his way in, and ended up two shots off the lead held by English journeyman Jack Senior.

Senior was one ahead of Lee Westwood and Justin Thomas, both of who had bogey-free rounds and looked in ominously good form ahead of next week’s Open Championship. Coetzee shared fourth with eight other players, including world number one Jon Rahm of Spain, Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Fitzpatrick of England.

Next best of the South Africans in the opening round was Garrick Higgo, who signed for a three-under 68 and a share of 27th. Branden Grace was on two-under in 45th with Justin Walters, Brandon Stone and Zander Lombard. Daniel van Tonder opened with a level-par 71, as did Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Darren Fichardt. Justin Harding and Thomas Aiken were one-over, Dean Burmester two-over, Haydyn Porteous three-over, while Wilco Nienaber battled his way to six-over.

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