sport

Webster mounts fresh challenge

Steve Webster wasted little time putting his name back on a leaderboard when the Alfred Dunhill Championship began at Leopard Creek.

The 37-year-old, who lost a play-off in Durban on Sunday, stood five under par after 14 holes and shared top spot in South Africa with home pair Oliver Bekker and Louis De Jager.

Irishman Peter Lawrie and Argentina's Estanislao Goya were a shot back in joint third place.

There was a bad start, though, from former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, at fifth in the world the highest-ranked player in the field.

Oosthuizen, second favourite for the title behind in-form Charl Schwartzel, ran up a quadruple bogey at the 448-yard third - his 12th - and after another dropped shot two holes later was three over and eight shots behind.

Schwartzel was among the afternoon starters, as was Scotland's Scott Jamieson, who grabbed his maiden European Tour victory at the Nelson Mandela Championship last weekend.

Webster, starting on the inward half, had a hat-trick of birdies from the 13th and then made more gains on the third and fifth.

Bekker bogeyed the short fifth like Oosthuizen, but came straight back with his sixth birdie of the day, while De Jager, only 755th in the world, went to the turn in 31, let a shot go on the 192-yard 12th, but added further birdies at the 15th and 16th.

Webster, Bekker and De Jager all posted 67s and were joined on five under when England's Richard Bland, who hung on to his European Tour card by the skin of his teeth last month, had three successive birdies from the 15th.

"It's the first time I've been here,'' Webster said. "People have been

telling me to come for years and years. I've always had a long break at

Christmas, but I'm really glad I made the effort.''

Oosthuizen had to be disappointed with a one over 73, but that was considerably better than compatriot JG Claassen, who from level par after seven holes crashed to an 87 with two triple bogeys and two double bogeys.