James Kamte led the 2016 Zambia Sugar Open after carding an opening round of seven-under-par 66 at Lusaka Golf Club on Thursday.
Kamte was the only player to go bogey-free on the Lusaka layout and was overjoyed with his flawless round. ‘I’ve been battling to start my rounds. I always start pretty badly and then I finish off well. But today I got stuck into my game plan – I tried to hit more shots closer to the hole – rather than playing more conservatively,’ he said.
With four of the five par-fives on the back-nine at Lusaka Golf Club, players know that if they are to post a low number, they need to take advantage of the more favourable scoring nine.
‘On the second-nine you can score better because of the four par-fives, where you can make a lot of birdies and eagles. So to shoot two-under the front nine and five-under the back nine, I was quite happy,’ said Kamte.
He has one Sunshine Tour start to his name this year and expressed joy at holding a one shot lead over his playing competitors. ‘It’s such a good feeling because you never know when it comes. The more you stay patient, the more it’ll come up. It was one of those rounds where you just need to dig deep and try and hit the shots you want to hit,’ he said.
Teaghan Gauche and Ulrich van den Berg shared second position after carding opening rounds of six-under-par 67.
Gauche made the most of the early conditions with three birdies on his outward nine and four birdies coming home, offset by a single bogey at the 17th.
‘I think it’s a solid start. I was happy to be off in the morning – nice and early – get the round done. I had a lot of chances, even feel as though I left a few out there, I’ll have to go get them tomorrow, but yeah I’m pleased with my round,’ he said.
Like Gauche, Van den Berg carded three birdies on the front nine and four on the back nine, however his dropped shot came at the par-four third hole. ‘Yeah I’m really happy. Good ball striking today. I really controlled my ball off the tee, you know you’ve got to shape your ball here,’ said Van den Berg.
Local golfer and crowd favourite Madalitso Muthiya opened his account with a solid three-under-par 70. ‘I played quite well. I felt like I did a lot of good things. I was obviously disappointed to finish with two bogeys in the last three holes, but I’m three-under and looking forward to the days ahead,’ he said.