Pretoria Country Club local George Coetzee has taken a share of the lead at the Titleist Championship after round one of the third Rise-Up Series event.
With the swing moving to Pretoria this week and Coetzee one of the players benefiting from playing on his home course, the spotlight was firmly on the 34-year-old from the start.
With a light and cold breeze sweeping through the stunning course, Coetzee made an impressive start with a bogey-free 67 to finish the day on five under par.
‘It’s nice to finally get my first bogey-free round in tournament golf post-lockdown,’ Coetzee said after his round.
‘The first tournament I played on the series after lockdown was not ideal. It was very cold and the course was firm. I wasn’t expecting much, and I didn’t deliver much. Last week at Glendower the greens were quite pure and that helped. But it’s nice to finally post a decent number.’
The four-time winner on the European Tour, though, is well aware of the hard work that still lies ahead as he sits alongside Hennie O’Kennedy at the top of the leaderboard.
‘If you play well and you’re in a good space, it helps. But there’s no such thing as a gimme in golf. If that was the case I would’ve won every tournament played at Pretoria Country Club, and I obviously haven’t.’
O’Kennedy, who also celebrated his 24th birthday on Wednesday, made vital recoveries throughout the course of his round and managed to capitalise when opportunities were presented.
Seven birdies and two bogeys provided a decent birthday gift as he, together with Coetzee, hold a one-shot lead over Clayton Mansfield.
Photo by Carl Fourie/Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images