Paul Lawrie battles breeze to sit third in Sun City

Paul Lawrie on his way to a 71 in South Africa. Picture: Getty
Paul Lawrie on his way to a 71 in South Africa. Picture: Getty
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PAUL Lawrie overcame some wayward driving to sit in joint third, one shot behind pacesetters Nicolas Colsaerts and Bill Haas, after the opening round of the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa.

Making his first appearance in the Sun City event since 1999, Lawrie signed for a one-under-par 71 on a day when scoring was made difficult by a swirling breeze.

“I struggled off the tee, missing a lot of fairways, but my irons were very good so I had plenty of birdie chances,” said the Scot. “I holed very few of them but putted nicely even though I really struggled with the pace of the greens, which are slower than we’re used to.”

Lawrie also offered his view on the decision announced by the R&A and USGA on Wednesday proposing an “anchoring” ban starting in 2016. “I kind of see long putters like psychologists, some need them, some don’t but they’re available to all,” he said.

Colsaerts had three birdies and a bogey, while Haas’ round featured five birdies and three bogeys. The American had been on course for a four-under round before dropping two shots in his last three holes.