He’s produced a series of good rounds in tournaments recently, but Tyrone Ferreira’s eight-under-par 64 on Wednesday on the first round of the R700,000 Sun Boardwalk Challenge at Humewood was by far his best.
He made an eagle and six birdies on an error-free card to grab a one-stroke edge over Danie van Tonder and last week’s winner on the Sunshine Tour, Justin Harding. Alex Haindl, Titch Moore and Charl Coetzee were a further shot back on six-under 66.
‘I’ve been playing really well recently,’ said Ferreira. ‘I’ve just been struggling with my putting, but today the putter clicked and everything just happened.’
Of course, making as many birdies – and an eagle – as he did takes more than good putting. Ferreira also struck the ball well. ‘I’ve been hitting it well for a while now,’ he said.
He also took advantage of Humewood playing as easily as it has been forecast to play all week, with the wind no more than a stiff breeze on occasion, and high winds predicted for the second round. ‘When we played in the pro-am on Monday and Tuesday, the wind was blowing hard, and they said today was going to blow, but it actually calmed down from last night,’ he said. ‘I needed a good score today, because tomorrow’s supposed to be blowing hard again.’
Harding, who pulled off a win at Simola last week, continued his fine form from that tournament. He made seven birdies and didn’t drop a shot to keep himself right up in contention. ‘I played solidly,’ he said. ‘We got a bit lucky with the breeze which didn’t really pick up to the extreme we thought it would, but I’m still trying to work out how I didn’t make a birdie on any of the par-fives.’
Van Tonder made just the one mistake, a bogey on the par-three 14th. But for the rest, he made eight birdies, and is very much looming in Ferreira’s rearview mirrors. ‘I really had to just keep it simple in the wind,’ said Van Tonder. ‘Just hit it low into the wind and keep it straight, otherwise you can lose a few ball out there.’
Ferreira will be keeping his eye on the weather forecast as he looks back on his previous best round this year: He opened the KCM Zambia Open with a 65 and finished in a share of 17th. With this start, he’ll be hoping for an improvement of his share of ninth in the Sun Carnival City Challenge.