Ravetto, Johannessen tied for lead in South Africa


ST. FRANCIS BAY, South Africa — David Ravetto and Kristian Krogh Johannessen carded 5-under 67s at a windy St. Francis Links course Thursday to share the clubhouse lead in the first round of the SDC Championship in South Africa.

France’s Ravetto picked up six birdies and just one bogey and Norway’s Johannessen had a blemish-free round of five birdies as the tournament made its debut on the European tour.

They are one shot ahead of Scotland’s Connor Syme in third. Syme had an eventful day, starting with three birdies and a bogey in his opening four holes. He carded seven birdies in all, but also three bogeys for his 68.

A handful of players weren’t able to complete their opening rounds because of fading light and will be back out early on Friday to finish before the second round gets underway. None of them are likely to match the first-round scores of Ravetto and Johannessen.

Ravetto’s only bogey came on No. 7, which was his 16th hole, but he made birdie on his last to ensure he had a share of the lead.

He said he enjoyed his first round on the links in St. Francis Bay, a city on South Africa’s typically blustery south coast.

“With the wind it’s really nice to play, it’s really fun, some nice tee shots to hit, nice second shots, a really nice track,” Ravetto said.

Ravetto and Johannessen are both seeking a maiden title on the European tour.

Joost Luiten is one of five players tied for fourth after he made a triple-bogey seven on No. 8 and then holed his second shot from way out on the par-5 No. 13 for an albatross to get those three strokes back.

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