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Unlucky Gareth Maybin suffers more injury heartache

By Phil Casey

Gareth Maybin's hopes of returning to competitive golf have been dashed by another injury.

The Ballyclare man has withdrawn from this week's Johannesburg Open because of a wrist injury that has bothered him since June 2015.

"Absolutely gutted to have to withdraw from @JoburgOpen_ with same wrist issue," Maybin tweeted yesterday.

Maybin played in a Pro-Am in South Africa last week on his return to action after 20 months out of the game.

He lost his European Tour card in 2014 and had hoped to play in around 15 tournaments on the Challenge Tour the following season before suffering a bad wrist injury in June.

Ulster's former Open champion Darren Clarke was two over after 14 holes of his first round at the Johannesburg Open before bad weather stopped play.

America's Paul Peterson is the leader on nine under after carding a 62 yesterday.

English duo Aaron Rai and Paul Waring carded matching rounds of 65 before the bad weather intervened.

Playing just the third European Tour event of his career, Rai fired seven birdies in a flawless round on the East Course at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington, with Waring recording nine birdies and two bogeys.

That left the pair two shots behind clubhouse leader Peterson, the left-handed American completing a brilliant 62 on the West Course before heavy rain, on an already-saturated course, forced play to be abandoned for the day.

Peterson said: "It was fun out there. Making birdie on half the holes is never bad and bogey free to match. I put a new putter in play this week and it proved to be a good first round with it."

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