John starts well in attempt to regain card

A bunch of familiar names including John Bele sits at the top of the leaderboard after the first round of the 2011 Vusi Ngubeni Qualifying School held at Observatory Golf Club in Johannesburg.

Ali Tsai, Bele, Cameron Esau, Derick Petersen, Rocky Tlhabanyane, and Jack Kutumane all played on the Sunshine Tour in 2010, but chose to return to Vusi Ngubeni Qualifying School after failing to finish within the top 120 on the Order of Merit.

They are all currently in the top 10 after the first round with the top five players at the end of the four days receiving full Sunshine Tour cards, while the next 25 players will receive playing privileges on the new “mini tour” which will take place this year.

The surprise name at the top of the leaderboard is Joe Trongo who fired a solid three-under par 69 to take a one shot lead over Tsai with Bele and Esau a further stroke back. Trongo played in the 2010 Vusi Ngubeni Q-School and only just missed out on his card.

Trevor Mahoney and Mikhail Tewary – also both 2010 Sunshine Tour members – are currently tied for 12th on one-over-par but should comfortably make the cut after the second round.

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