Eagles fly as Madsen grabs share of Tshwane Open lead

Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:52pm EDT
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PRETORIA (Reuters) - Eagles on his final two holes catapulted Denmark's Morten Orum Madsen to a seven under-par 63 and a share of the lead after the opening round of the European Tour’s Tshwane Open at the Pretoria Country Club on Thursday.

Madsen is level with England’s David Horsey, who carded seven birdies in his flawless opening round, with the pair a shot better off than South African Wallie Coetsee and Brett Rumford from Australia.

Former South African Open winner Madsen, 26, started his round on the back nine, finishing at the par three eighth and par five ninth holes.

His first eagle was the 20th hole-in-one on the European Tour this season as he spun his tee shot back into the cup with a precise wedge.

He followed that with an eagle putt from 12 feet at the ninth.

“The last couple of weeks I’ve been hitting some shots really close and I actually said to my caddy last week that a hole-in-one is on the cards pretty soon,” Madsen told reporters.

“When your standing on the next tee you’re pretty confident and I hit a really nice drive and a great three iron second shot. It’s something you don’t expect but you dream about.

“I’ve found something in my game that’s working and I’ve been pretty consistent.”

European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke missed the cut at the Joburg Open last month and is in danger of doing so again after hitting one over-par 71.

(Reporting by Nick Said, editing by Pritha Sarkar)