Coert Groenewald fired four birdies and an eagle on his back nine to sign for a superb eight-under-par 64 in round one of the King’s Cup Big Easy Tour.
The back nine 30 coupled with a front nine of two-under-par 34 gave Groenewald a one-stroke lead over Swaziland’s James Pennington.
‘I’m really happy with the round. I started nicely with two birdies in the first three holes. I putted really well and made some nice putts on the front nine but some putts just didn’t go in. On the back nine it was a completely different story. I mean, shooting 30 on the back nine with no drops, I’m really happy with my round today,’ explained Groenewald.
With the little rain Swaziland has had in the past few months, the course has suffered the repercussions and is playing extremely hard on the sloping layout.
‘The course is exceptionally dry. If you hit it on the wrong line the ball can go 50-yards offline. It makes hitting the fairways that much more important and also that much more difficult,’ said Groenewald.
The fast start by Groenewald was an impressive one, and it’s something the 27-year-old will need to build on as the Royal Swazi Spa Country Club has a history of yielding low scores.
‘I don’t think I’ll change my game plan for tomorrow. I think I’ll keep it exactly the same because it looks like it’s working and I’m enjoying it. I’m hitting quite a few drivers off the tee and it’s just about picking a line and making sure you stick to it,’ he explained.
Pennigton carded an incredible 10 birdies in his seven-under-par round of 63, while Mark Murless lies in sole possession of third place after a six-under-par 66.
Murless, who started with six birdies in a row, laughed off his fast start and said he was looked forward to the remaining two days.
‘There’s never a dull moment out here. Those six birdies, it was a lot of fun. It obviously wasn’t so easy on the other nine but I’ll take it,’ he said.
64 – Coert Groenewald
65 – James Pennington
66 – Mark Murless
67 – Derick Petersen
68 – Thanda Mavundla