Bad weather at Joburg Open

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Zimbabwean professional golfers Tongo Charamba and Bruce McDonald were on the third and sixth holes respectively, when play was stopped soon after lunch due to dangerous weather conditions at the Joburg Open in South Africa yesterday.

The Zimbabwean duo were part of the group that teed off just before lunch and no sooner had they made some inroads on the front-nine before they were called back to the clubhouse.

Charamba and McDonald were tied for 69th on one-under-par and will have to continue doing well on the remaining 12 holes today if they are to make the cut of the top 65 professionals.

Another Zimbabwean professional Ryan Cairns found the going tough and faces an uphill task to make the cut as he finished his opening round tied for 170th on three over- par 75.

Irish golfer Damien McGrane shot a tremendous round of eight-under-par 63 at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington course to take him to the top of the leaderboard before a thunderstorm brought a halt to play.

The 40-year-old is trying to recapture the heights of 2010, when he finished 41st on the European Tour Order of Merit, with a runner-up finish and five other top-10s, having endured a disappointing 2011.

Barring a catastrophe on the East Course today, McGrane will be in the money this weekend, trying to hold off the challenge of South African Desvonde Botes on seven-under and the group on six-under comprising Joel Sjoholm, David Drysdale, George Coetzee, George Murray, Carlos del Moral, Shaun Norris and Jamie Elson.