Gareth Maybin lies six shots off lead in Johannesburg

Gareth Maybin
Gareth Maybin lost his European Tour card at the end of last season

Ballyclare golfer Gareth Maybin lies six shots off the lead after firing an opening round of three-under-par 69 at the Joburg Open in Johannesburg.

Maybin carded six birdies and three bogeys on the East Course to lie in a tie for 43rd position after day one.

Darren Clarke has work to do to make the cut after firing a level-par 72 on the same course to end joint 114th.

South African Nic Henning leads by one shot on nine under after posting a 62 on the West Course.

He leads compatriots Titch Moore and Tjaart Van Der Walt, plus German Thomas Pieters, who are all eight under.

Ireland's Peter Lawrie is well placed in tied 16th on five under, with Kevin Phelan just one shot worse off.

Lawrie is playing in his first event since claiming that his attempt to address a fizzy drinks addiction led to a slump in his form.

Ballyclare man Maybin has reduced starts on the main European Tour this season after losing his tour card at the end of last season.

The Joburg Open is part of the qualifying series for The Open, with three players who are not already exempt, and who finish in the top 10, securing places for The Open Championship at St Andrews in July.

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