sport

Brooks leads the way in Durban

Daniel Brooks carded a 62 on Wednesday to claim the lead after a weather-delayed first round at the Nelson Mandela Championship in Durban.

The 26-year-old Englishman, who has had a largely disappointing rookie campaign this year but retained his European Tour card at Qualifying School last month, surged to the top of the pile with a burst of four birdies in five holes from the eighth.

Francois Calmels was hot on his heels thanks to a seven-under 63, with two fellow Frenchmen - Edouard Dubois and Romain Wattel - also in contention after 64s and Sweden's Joel Sjoholm and Zimbabwe's Ryan Cairns joint fifth a further shot back.

The action had got under way seven hours later than scheduled following heavy rain on the Mount Edgecombe Country Club course.

More than half the field were unable to complete their opening rounds, with many - including defending champion Scott Jamieson of Scotland - yet to start. Play is set to resume at 0600 on Thursday (0800GMT).

Challenge Tour graduate Calmels was delighted to continue his fine form after winning in Mauritius last week.

"It was a great week for me,'' said the 32-year-old, who sank a 15-foot putt at the 18th to keep himself firmly in the hunt.

He added on www.europeantour.com: "I made a great last round 65 to win by one over Hennie (Otto) and that give me quite a bit of self-confidence.

"I know I'm playing well and the great round today was just perfect.''