Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Dean Burmester, Jacques Kruyswijk and Ruan Corb have all taken a share of the lead after the opening round of the SA Open on Thursday.
The four South Africans all opened their accounts for the week with respective rounds of five-under-par 67 at the Gary Player Country Club and are joined by Austrian Matthias Schwab and Italian Aaron Zemmer as the first-round leaders.
With the usual front nine at the famous course, playing as the back nine for this week’s event, players faced different challenges than usually experienced at the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
Bezuidenhout, last week’s winner at the Alfred Dunhill Championship, was out early and leading soon with three birdies on the opening four holes and finished his front nine on five under par.
‘I got off to a nice start and turned five under par, then I birdied my 10th hole to get to six under, said the 27-year-old, who teed off the 10th.
‘The putter just went cold. I just couldn’t make the putts coming in. The wind also picked up which made it more tricky. But it’s nice to have a good start and hopefully I can keep the momentum going and put myself in a good position come Sunday.’
Burmester, on the other hand, got the ball rolling with three consecutive birdies on his back nine to climb the leaderboard, while Kruyswijk also turned with three excellent putts.
Korb, who celebrated his 27th birthday on Thursday, couldn’t have asked for a better gift with the performance he delivered.
He took the outright lead on six under at a stage but a bogey on the penultimate hole had him fall one back to conclude the day on five under.