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Sterne & Kieffer Share Lead in Joburg Open; Uihlein Two Back
South Africa's Richard Sterne and Germany's Maximilian Kieffer fired 8-under-par 63s to tie for the lead after the opening-round of the Joburg Open. The European Tour event began Thursday on the East and West courses at Kensington Golf Club in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Sterne, who finished second in last week's Dubai Desert Classic to Scotland's Stephen Gallacher, continued his fine play with six birdies and an eagle after chipping in on the par-5 ninth hole.
Kieffer, a 22-year-old rookie on the Euro circuit, posted five birdies on the front nine and three more on the back for his 63. Both got their scores on the easier West course.
The two enjoy a two-stroke margin over South Africa's Bryce Easton and American Peter Uihlein. Easton's round was highlighted by an ace on the par-3 12th hole, while Uihlein, the 2010 U.S. Amateur champion at Chambers Bay in Washington State, had an eagle, five birdies and a bogey.
Sterne is riding the momentum gained last week in Dubai, where he led through the first two rounds. "Some days it feels good and everything kind of happens," noted the 2008 Joburg Open winner, one of five victories he's had on the European Tour.
"Golf is strange. You've got to hit the right kind of shots at the right time," added the 31-year-old. "I hit 17 greens today so I was never really in trouble at all."
"I've been playing well and am just trying to stay positive on the golf course," said Kieffer, who finished tied for 17th in Dubai. "When you come from the (European Tour's developmental) Challenge Tour, everybody says you are good enough for the European Tour. But you still want to prove your worth out here."
Defending champion Branden Grace and two-time Joburg Open winner Charl Schwartzel shot 72 and 68, respectively.
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