With some players having as many as eight holes to complete in the first round of the DP World Tour’s DS Automobiles Italian Open on Thursday, Louis de Jager was the best-placed of the South Africans in the field at three-under-par through 14 holes.
De Jager had started his round on the 10th, and picked up three birdies in a row from the 11th to turn on thee-under. He made a bogey and a birdie in the five holes he had played on the front nine, and was in a share of 10th. The lead was held by US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick on five-under through 15 holes. He led by one from eight players, including Rory McIlroy. Two of those eight had yet to complete their rounds.
De Jager shared 10th with Oliver Bekker, who had finished his round on three-under with six birdies and three bogeys.
Darren Fichardt was on two-under after completing his round, and Zander Lombard was on level-par through 18, together with Justin Walters and Brandon Stone. Daniel van Tonder was on two-over, George Coetzee on three-over, Richard Sterne on six-over and Haydn Porteous on 10-over.