Matthew Carvell, Pieter Kruger and Bryce McCabe carded opening round five-under-par 65’s at the Big Easy – Huddle to lead another bunched leaderboard on the Big Easy Tour.
Conventionally, Huddle Park Golf Club plays as a par 72, however the two par-fives on the back nine have been cut to par-fours for the tournament.
‘I didn’t hit everything straight. This is the kind of golf course where you can get away with a few wild ones. The only bogey I made was a silly three-putt on a par-three, but yeah I’ve worked on a few things with my coach the last couple days. It’s just made me think in a different way – simplifies I guess – and it’s seemed to pay dividends,’ said Carvell.
After a bright start to his round, Kruger had a mid-round slump, but a sublime albatross on the par-five ninth righted the ship for the man who claimed the 2016 Big Easy – Irene title.
‘I started birdie-birdie-birdie so it was a great start and in the middle of the round not much happened. I lost it a little bit and went two-over in three holes and then on the last hole I came in with a five iron for two, so I’ll take that. It’s my first albatross ever,’ said Kruger.
‘I was going straight for the flag. I had to because the last few holes before that weren’t good. I just decided to go for it. I walked over to the greens and saw the hole was damaged. I thought it may have been in and there it was in the middle of the cup. You have to be aggressive with these tournaments. If you don’t go 10-under in the two days then you are nowhere, so you have to go low,’ explained Kruger.
As for Carvell, work off the course has prompted a new mind-set on the course, and a good finish to the month on the Big Easy Tour will give him confidence for the Sunshine Tour season ahead.
‘To be honest my expectations were quite low – not in a negative way – I just thought of trying a different approach and funnily enough being more aggressive helps me. I’m not going to put any pressure on myself for tomorrow, my goal is to start playing better in the Sunshine Tour, and these events are obviously great preparation for that,’ explained Carvell.
Five golfers are one-stroke further back on four-under-par for the tournament, including Wynand Dingle and Toto Thimba, while Big Easy – Royal J & K winner Sipho Bujela sits on three-under-par.
65 – Matthew Carvell (RSA), Pieter Kruger (RSA), Bryce McCabe (RSA)
66 – Werner van Niekerk (RSA), Wynand Dingle (RSA), Mark Murless (RSA), Gideon Pienaar (RSA), Toto Thimba (Jnr)
67 – Dayne Moore (ZAM), Omar Sandys (RSA), Sipho Bujela (RSA)
68 – Daniel Hammond (RSA), Maritz Wessels (RSA), Antonio Rosado (POR), Greg Bentley (ZIM), Bryn Flanagan (RSA), Jaco Mouton (RSA), Eddie Taylor (RSA),Tyron McComb (RSA), Jacques P de Villiers (RSA), Roberto Lupini (RSA), Conway Kunneke (RSA)