Adilson Da Silva shot a seven-under-par 63 to take a lead for the first round of the R800,000 Sun Wild Coast Sun Challenge which was played on Wednesday and Thursday at Wild Coast Sun Country Club on Thursday.
The start of the round was delayed twice on Wednesday because the course was waterlogged early on but as soon as the weather cleared, a shotgun start was necessary to make up for the time lost, but the play had to be postponed due to bad lighting later on the first day.
Da Silva made eagle on the par-five 12th, birdies on the ninth, 10th, 11th, 14th and closed with two consecutive birdies on 17th and 18th. His round was spoilt by one bogey on the par-three eighth.
‘My back nine today was incredible,’ he said.
‘I think the first nine, I played pretty good. I had two good putts there and I was happy about the way I was playing. I had a few longish putts and I chipped in once for an eagle. Then things started happing.’
The Brazilian was pleased with his putting which he focused on mostly before getting to the Wild Coast, but he feels at times it let him down.
‘I hit the ball pretty good. I have been out for quite a long time and I started to practice in the last couple of weeks. I came to the tournament excited about my putting, because it felt better and then on the front nine I could not do anything right with it. The back nine started to feel more comfortable,’ he said.
Da Silva, who last tasted a win in 2013 on tour, knows that there is still a lot of work ahead of him and that this is a good foundation he can build on towards Saturday.
‘Absolutely, I think this also builds a little bit of confidence. It feels like I can hole the putts very well now. Sometimes finishing badly makes you just lose a bit of interest or a bit of confidence, but now it feels good. I am just going to try and do exactly what I have done and just hang in there and be patient,’ Da Silva said.
One shot behind Da Silva were Martin Rohwer and Daniel van Tonder on six-under-par 64. Also following closely were Jaco Prinsloo, Jacques Blaauw, Wynand Dingle and Toto Thimba on five-under-par 65.