Colsaerts shows strength to stun rivals
January 10, 2013 -- Updated 1944 GMT (0344 HKT)
Nicolas Colsaerts showed his power by producing an astonishing drive on the third hole in Durban.
- Nicolas Colsaerts unleashed incredible driver of 419-yards on first day in Durban
- Ernie Els stunned by power of Belgian after playing alongside younger rival
- Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee leads the field by three shots following a round of seven-under 65.
- Els and fellow South African Louis Oosthuizen are joint-second after opening round
(CNN) -- Nicolas Colsaerts produced a monstrous 419-yard drive to stun his opponents at the Durban Country Club Thursday.
The Belgian, who was part of the victorious European Ryder Cup team which won at Medina, was the biggest driver on the European and PGA Tours last season.
But even local favorite Ernie Els was shocked by the sheer power and distance Colsaerts managed to get on his ball at the third hole.
"I've been coming here since 1986 I think and I've never seen a ball there, nobody has," Els told reporters.
"They should put a plaque down. I was coming from a different zip code. And I've got to compete against these animals!"
Branden Grace on remarkable wins
Expert: How to improve your putting
The rise of South Africa's black golfers
While Colsaerts stole the show with his huge driving, it was Els who enjoyed the better round of the two.
Johnson holds off Stricker
The South African finished the day in second position, on four-under alongside compatriot Louis Oosthuizen following a round of 68.
"We probably got the bad side of the draw, but that's part of golf," said Oosthuizen,
"I enjoy the course. You have to think a lot - I hit the driver on only two holes - and put a three-iron in my bag only 15 minutes before we teed off."
Former paratrooper Thongchai Jaidee leads the field by three shots following a round of seven-under 65.
Thongchai recorded eight birdies during his opening round to seal his place at the top of the leaderboard.
"I enjoyed the course which requires you to think a lot," said the 43-year-old Thai.
"I used a driver only twice and found a three iron I put in my bag just before teeing off very useful."
Part of complete coverage on
August 8, 2014 -- Updated 1424 GMT (2224 HKT)
From Seve's "spine-shivering" moment to Jack Nicklaus' "perfect explosion," David Cannon has captured many of golf's defining images.
August 7, 2014 -- Updated 1320 GMT (2120 HKT)
They came home as casualties of war -- physically shattered and mentally broken. But golf is proving to be an unlikely salvation for U.S. veterans.
August 5, 2014 -- Updated 1231 GMT (2031 HKT)
You are the one hitting the shots, but the man standing over your shoulder could hold the key to your golfing destiny.
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1227 GMT (2027 HKT)
He has been there for all three of his son's major wins, but the latest triumph may well have been the sweetest yet for Rory McIlroy's father.
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 1218 GMT (2018 HKT)
The next generation of golfers just keeps on getting younger. "They have the confidence to perform against their idols," says one ex-prodigy.
July 1, 2014 -- Updated 1159 GMT (1959 HKT)
He was Spain's ultimate matador and golf's greatest escape artist.
June 18, 2014 -- Updated 1536 GMT (2336 HKT)
Two-time major champion Rory McIlroy declares he'll represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics, not Great Britain.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 0248 GMT (1048 HKT)
Already admired by Annika Sorenstam and with a bucketful of talent, New Zealand's Lydia Ko has the world of golf at her feet.
April 28, 2014 -- Updated 1130 GMT (1930 HKT)
Like footie? Partial to a bit of golf? Then you'll love FootGolf. The sport's growing fan base includes a host of former English Premier League stars.
April 24, 2014 -- Updated 1343 GMT (2143 HKT)
A runaway ostrich-like bird hiding near an English golf course has caused quite a stir. Some say it's dangerous, while others are cashing in.
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
Eagles may be thin on the ground for most golfers at the Bear Trace course at Harrison Bay. But up in the treetops, it's a different matter.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1754 GMT (0154 HKT)
When someone tells you to go jump in a lake, sometimes it's best to take their advice. "I've never been so scared," says golfer Pablo Larrazabal.
Today's five most popular stories