Marc Cayeux, Ockie Strydom, Louis de Jager, Jaco Ahlers, Trevor Fisher Jr, Heinrich Bruiners and Dayne Moore shared the first round lead at Arabella Country Estate.
Zambia’s Moore admitted that he surprised himself when he carded a four-under-par 68 opening round of the Vodacom Origins of Golf at Arabella on Friday.
‘Unexpected,’ he said. ‘Very unexpected, especially here in the wind. I just played and I didn’t expect anything because I’m not used to playing in the wind like this so I’m obviously very happy with that round.’
The Zambian credits improved course-management and a level-head for his solid round – which consisted of five birdies, an eagle and a double drop – on the testing Peter Matkovic-layout to sign for his second sub-70 round this season.
‘Look, I just tried to maintain it, you know? I didn’t go out there chasing after everything. And, I knew that the driver is probably the weakest club in my bag, so I just hit two-iron almost everywhere and I made some good putts,’ Moore said.
He shares the top spot with Zimbabwe’s Cayeux, Strydom, De Jager, Ahlers, Fisher Jr and Bruiners. Cayeux’s round was characterised by a solid back nine in which he made five birdies with dropped shots while his front nine, by his own admission, was poor.
‘It was quite a struggle on the front nine,’ Cayeux reflected after his round. ‘I just stayed patient. I turned level-par and I thought “you know, this is the nine you can try and score in, especially with the wind dying down a bit”, which it did and I grinded it out and shot 32 on the back nine.’
Strydom, who seemed to make every putt he looked at last season, revealed that a return to his old Scotty Cameron putter is the reason for his resurgent form. It was with the same putter that he shot a final round 64 at Selborne Park two weeks ago.
‘I just went back to my old Scotty from last year,’ he said. ‘Last year my putter was hot. If I looked at a hole, that ball went in, so I just thought I should go back to the old putter at Selborne and I have kept it since.’
Jacques Blaauw, Pieter Moolman, Neil Schietekat and Jean Hugo share the eighth spot on three-under 69 while Ruan de Smidt takes up 12th on two-under-par.
First round leaderboard:
68 – Dayne Moore, Marc Cayeux, Ockie Strydom, Louis de Jager, Jaco Ahlers, Trevor Fisher Jnr, Heinrich Bruiners
69 – Jacques Blaauw, Pieter Moolman, Neil Schietekat, Jean Hugo
70 – Ruan de Smidt
71 – Jaco Prinsloo, Vaughn Groenewald, Brandon Stone, Tyrone Ferreira, Rhys West
72 – Franklin Manchest, Peter Karmis, MJ Viljoen, Desne Van Den Bergh, Keelan Africa, Wynand Dingle, Daniel Greene, Michael Palmer, Callum Mowat, David McIntyre, Herman Loubser, Ruan Conradie
73 – Jake Roos, Keenan Davidse, Alex Haindl, Matthew Carvell, Jacques P de Villiers, Estiaan Conradie, Steve Surry, Daniel van Tonder, Combrinck Smit, Jason Viljoen, Jake Redman
74 – Daniel Hammond, Doug McGuigan, Andrew Curlewis, Breyten Meyer, Tyrone Ryan, Derick Petersen, Bennie van der Merwe, Roberto Lupini, Theunis Bezuidenhout, Jonathan Agren, Hennie Otto, Luke Trocado
75 – Jade Buitendag, Martin Rohwer, Luke Jerling, Allan Versfeld, Terence Coutinho, Teaghan Gauche
76 – Steven Lecuyer, Michael Hollick, Toto Thimba, Titch Moore, Philip Geerts, James Kamte, Martin Rominger, Cameron Moralee, Allister de Kock, Louis Albertse, Merrick Bremner, Andre De Decker
77 – Gerrit Foster, Jean-Paul Strydom, Keith Horne, Colin Nel, Coert Groenewald, Christiaan Basson, Charl Coetzee
78 – Jacquin Hess, Wallie Coetsee, William Weidner, Yubin Jung, Hennie du Plessis, James Pennington, Chris Swanepoel, Mohammad Rauf Mandhu
79 – Jared Harvey, Erhard Lambrechts, Damon Stephenson, Jason Smith, Riekus Nortje, JJ Senekal, Omar Sandys, Dwayne Basson
80 – Stuart Smith, Basil Wright, Anton Haig, Marthin Scheepers, Gavin Vorster, Stefan Engell Andersen, Makhetha Mazibuko, Ryan Tipping, Gideon van der Vyver
81 – Wayne Stroebel, Kevin Stone, Andre Nel, Cameron Esau
82 – Michael Schutz, Duane Keun, Kayyam Rauf Mandhu, Kyle McClatchie
83 – Thabang Simon, Jason Roets, Adriel Poonan
84 – Phumlani Maluka
85 – Altaaf Bux
86 – Stephen Ferreira