Zanotti creates history with first-ever hole-in-one at the Nedbank Golf Challenge

Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay during day one of the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City Picture: Stuart Franklin / Getty Images
Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay during day one of the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City
Picture: Stuart Franklin / Getty Images

Paraguay’s Fabrizio Zanotti created history here at the Nedbank Golf Challenge when he recorded the tournament’s first ever hole-in-one on Friday.

Zanotti who had made a flying start with birdies on the 1st and the 2nd‚ gained to more shots to par when he hit an inch perfect seven iron on the 195m fourth.

His ball returned to terra firma around 20 yards from the flag but rolled inexorably towards and into the hole.

He raised his arms in delight when the ball disappeared next to the flag thus becoming the first man to experience that emotion in the 35-year history of the tournament.

Approach shots have been drained‚ like when Welshman Ian Woosnam drained his approach on the 17th en route to the title in 1987‚ a feat repeated by Retief Goosen many years later on the same hole but a hole-in-one has eluded the field.

Nobody was more surprised than the Paraguayan when the ball dropped into the hole.

Finding the shortest route to the hole hasn’t come naturally to him of late.

In his last five tournaments he has finished tied 62nd‚ T60th‚ T31st‚ T20th and T102nd.

On the next par three the 33-year old suffered the indignity of dropping a shot but he recovered that shot on the next hole‚ the par four eighth.

Zanotti has had a colourful history with tee shots.

On 11 September 2014 during the KLM Open in the Netherlands he was briefly hospitalised after being struck by an errant ball.

Meanwhile‚ a couple of South Africans made their moved up the leader board.

Former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen made his surge with five birdies over the first 11 holes.

George Coetzee also made his move with three birdies inside the first six holes but his momentum was stunted with a bogey on the eighth.

Jaco van Zyl and Thomas Aiken also played themselves into contention over the opening nine.

They were within two shots of the lead halfway through the round.

But play has been suspended due to bad weather.

Zanotti is leading with Chris Wood at 6 under.

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