Tshwane Open: Simon Dyson takes clubhouse lead after first day's play
Last Updated: 28/02/14 11:29am
Simon Dyson: Enjoying golf again after being cleared by disciplinary panel
England's Simon Dyson hit the headlines for the right reasons as he claimed the clubhouse lead in the Tshwane Open before play was suspended due to bad weather on Thursday.
An approaching thunderstorm in Centurion forced the players off the course at 5.30pm local time and play was later abandoned for the day, with a restart scheduled at 6.45am on Friday.
First round leaders
GB&Ire unless stated
-7 S Dyson
-7 T Fisher Jr (SA) (16)
-6 J Harvey (SA)
-6 R Fisher
-6 E van Rooyen (SA)
-6 D Fichardt (SA) (17)
-6 D van Tonder (SA) (17)
Click here for collated scores
Dyson birdied his last four holes to card a flawless seven-under-par 65 and lead by one from compatriot Ross Fisher and South African duo Jared Harvey and Erik van Rooyen.
Another South African, Trevor Fisher Jnr, was seven under with two holes of his round to complete.
Dyson is playing his sixth event since being handed a suspended two-month ban from the European Tour following his disqualification from the BMW Masters in October.
The 36-year-old was seen to deliberately press down a spike mark to improve his position during the second round, despite knowing it was against the rules.
However, he was cleared of "a premeditated act of cheating" by a disciplinary panel in December and given a two-month ban, suspended for 18 months, fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £7,500 towards the European Tour's costs.
"It kind of gave me the love of the game back a little bit," Dyson told reporters after his round. "There was the chance it might have been taken away from me for a few months and thankfully it wasn't.
"It made me really knuckle down and get my head sorted and enjoy it again. I really enjoyed today's round and my golf this year, even though I missed the last couple of cuts.
"I am playing some good golf and enjoying it, which is pretty big really considering it's my 14th year on tour."
Fisher, who lost a play-off for the Perth International at the end of last season, had started from the 10th with a birdie and picked up further shots at the 15th, 16th and 18th to be out in 32.
The 33-year-old former Ryder Cup player dropped his first shot of the day on the first, but bounced back with four birdies in a row from the fifth before another dropped shot on the last.
Van Rooyen is ranked 1,505th in the world and had to qualify for the event on Tuesday, but only matching Fisher's bogey on the ninth prevented him from having a share of the lead.
"I'm extremely happy," Van Rooyen said. "I hit the ball extremely well today. I missed a couple of short ones out there, but I had my fair share of long ones that I made, so I'm happy with the start.
"It's a lot of fun and I'm just trying to enjoy the experience. You try to stay calm and seeing some of those big names below me on the leaderboard - that's a lot of fun, trust me."