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Kiefer, Sterne share lead at Joburg Open

JOHANNESBURG (AP) - Germany's Maximilian Kiefer and South Africa's Richard Sterne shot 8-under 63s Thursday to share the lead after the first round of the European Tour's Joburg Open.

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Kiefer, who finished second at the Dubai Desert Classic, and Sterne had bogey-free rounds on the West Course at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club.

``You feel you need to put a good score together on the West Course and I did that,'' said Sterne, who eagled No. 9. ``Now I've got three tough rounds on the East and hopefully I can give myself a chance on Sunday.''

South Africa's Bryce Easton had a 7-under 65 on the East Course that included a hole-in-one on the par-3 12th. American Peter Uihlein was one of eight players tied for fourth at 6 under.

Defending champion Branden Grace and two-time winner Charl Schwartzel also began on the East Course, but both struggled. Schwartzel opened with a 68 for a tie for 25th and Grace finished at 72, marked by a double-bogey 6 at No. 11.

Kiefer, a recent graduate of the Challenge Tour, began with five birdies on the front nine.

``I've been playing well and am just trying to stay positive on the golf course,'' he said. ``When you come from the Challenge Tour everybody says you are good enough for the European Tour. But you still want to prove your worth out here.''

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