• Nienaber satisfied with flying start

    Photo by Carl Fourie/Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images
    Wilco Nienaber

    Wilco Nienaber hopes his brilliant first round at the Joburg Open will only be the start of a big week for him at Randpark Golf Club.

    The 20-year-old flew out of the blocks on Thursday morning as the first of three co-sanctioned events between the Sunshine Tour and European Tour got under way.

    Nienaber carded a solid eight-under-par 63 to open his account, which included an emphatic 493-yard drive from the tee on the par-five 4th hole.

    WATCH: Wilco’s monster drive

    ‘Eight under is nice around any golf course and to do it first round back home at the Joburg Open is great,’ said Nienaber, who has been impressive so far in his debut season on the European Tour.

    ‘I haven’t played much in South Africa since I’ve turned pro but it’s been great to be home, so I am just looking forward to the next three days and the two weeks after this.

    ‘It is nice coming back to a course that I know I have played before in a pro event and it is nice to use a little bit of knowledge on the course.’

    Nine birdies, one eagle and three bogeys had Nienaber end opening day with a share of the lead alongside fellow South African Shaun Norris.

    When asked what will be key to his quest for a continued strong showing over the weekend, he simply answered: ‘Everything.

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    ‘To be in play off the tee because you can control it out of the fairways. The rough off the fairway is pretty thick so that doesn’t help the approaches, so hitting my approaches from the fairway helps. Also, I worked a lot on my base putting because in Cyprus it was below bad.’


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