Brooks grabs lead at suspended Nelson Mandela Championship
Durban, South Africa (SportsNetwork.com) - Daniel Brooks fired an 8-under-par 62 on Wednesday to grab the clubhouse lead at the suspended Nelson Mandela Championship.
The start of the first round, which was moved up to Wednesday to accommodate the funeral of tournament namesake and former South African president Nelson Mandela, was delayed seven hours due to a waterlogged course.
When play began, Brooks notched eight birdies during his bogey-free round at Mount Edgecombe Country Club, where the course was modified to a par-70 layout from a par-71 due to the soggy conditions.
Francois Calmels is alone in second place after carding a 63, while Romain Wattel and Edouard Dubois share third at 6-under 64.
Ryan Cairns and Joel Sjoholm both shot 65 to end 18 holes tied for fifth. Jaco Ahlers, Tano Goya, Victor Riu and Adrien Saddier share seventh at 4-under 66.
More than half the players in the field were unable to complete their opening round, with play set to resume at 11 p.m. ET in an effort to get the tournament back on track.
Brooks, who retained his European Tour card at Qualifying School after an underwhelming 2013 rookie campaign, began his round with a pair of pars before carding a birdie at the third and another at the fifth.
Another pair of pars followed before Brooks once again took off, as the 26- year-old tallied four birdies in a five-hole span from the eighth to reach 6- under.
From there, Brooks picked up two more birdies (at the 15th and 17th) to snare the clubhouse lead from Calmels.
Earlier, Calmels went off the 10th tee and mixed an eagle, seven birdies and a pair of birdies to reach 7-under through 18 holes.
"It was a great week for me," said Calmels, a Challenge Tour graduate who won an event in Mauritius last week. "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."
NOTES: Brooks is ranked 452nd in the world ... Calmels is a three-time winner on the Challenge Tour ... Defending champion Scott Jamieson has yet to tee off ... Mandela passed away last week and his funeral will take place on Sunday.
12/11 13:42:19 ET