Jean-Paul Strydom shot a bogey-free 10-under-par 62 opening round of the Cape Town Open to take a one-shot lead at Royal Cape Golf Club on Thursday.
He opened his birdie-laden round with four birdies on the trot before picking up an important eagle on the fifth hole. One par later, another birdie found its way on to his card before going out in 28 with a further birdie on the ninth.
‘I did not think this would happen,’ he admitted.
‘My start was unbelievable. I think I was seven-under through six or something like that, or seven-under through seven. I then hit it left on the ninth hole, and somehow I made a birdie to shoot eight-under. I stalled a bit the next couple of holes, and was a bit nervous. Then I had a good finish – birdie, par, birdie and I am 10-under.’
His back nine was just as solid, as he didn’t drop a single shot there, and instead made further gains as he made birdies on 16 and the last.
Hot on his heels was last year’s runner-up Peter Karmis, who also shot a blemish-free nine-under-par 63 round in which he made two eagles on the par-five fifth and seventh holes.
Behind him was Kyle McClatchie, who finished three shots off the lead, while six other players, who included England’s Richard Bland, Thriston Lawrence, Daniel van Tonder and JC Ritchie, among others, shared the fourth spot on six-under.
The defending Rhys Enoch shares 10th with 14 other players on five-under.
Strydom –who is searching for his first Sunshine Tour win – has had his ups and downs since the beginning of the season, but feels that he is slowly coming into a good position as the season draws to a close.
‘It feels amazing,’ he said.
‘I had a real struggle in the middle of last year, and I found some form at the Alfred Dunhill Championship and I played nicely last week at the Eye of Africa Championship. So, there is just a bit of momentum going on out here.’
First round leaderboard:
62 – Jean-Paul Strydom
63 – Peter Karmis
65 – Kyle McClatchie
66 – Richard Bland, MJ Viljoen, Daniel van Tonder, Justin Walters, JC Ritchie, Thriston Lawrence
67 – Wynand Dingle, Madalitso Muthiya, Jacques Kruyswijk, Hennie du Plessis, Tyler Hogarty, Damon Stephenson, Matias Calderon, Ruan Conradie, Vaughn Groenewald, Scott Campbell, JJ Senekal, Lyle Rowe, Andrew Curlewis, Rhys Enoch, Daniel Greene
68 – Ross McGowan, Jason Viljoen, Doug McGuigan, Zander Lombard, Heinrich Bruiners, Andrew Odoh, Benjamin Follett-Smith, Michael Hollick, Mitch Waite, Jacques Blaauw, Estiaan Conradie, Michael Palmer
69 – Ockie Strydom, Jaco Prinsloo, Trevor Fisher Jnr, Keith Horne, Stephen Ferreira, Jbe’ Kruger, Christiaan Basson, Harry Ellis, Teboho Sefatsa, Wallie Coetsee, Bennie van der Merwe, Franklin Manchest
70 – Callum Mowat, Duane Keun, Tyrone Ryan, Ruan de Smidt, Neil Schietekat, Jaco Ahlers, Pieter Moolman, Keelan Africa, Ian Ansett, Irvin Mazibuko, Allister de Kock, Philip Geerts, Rhys West, Marthin Scheepers
71 – Jacquin Hess, David McIntyre, Jack Harrison, Toby Tree, Herman Loubser, James Pennington, Ryan Tipping, Adilson Da Silva, Hennie Otto, Jake Roos, Dawie Van der Walt, Steve Surry, Anthony Michael, Anton Haig, Victor Lange, Andrew van der Knaap
72 – Phumlani Maluka, Mike Michell, Allan Versfeld, Teaghan Gauche, Derick Petersen, Ulrich van den Berg, Rourke van der Spuy, Luke Joy, Ruan Huysamen, Mohammad Rauf Mandhu, Jason Smith, Makhetha Mazibuko, Jean Hugo, Garth Mulroy, Chris Swanepoel, Keenan Davidse, Breyten Meyer, Luke Jerling, Kyle Pilgrim, Altaaf Bux, Basil Wright
73 – Coert Groenewald, Jonathan Agren, Bryce Easton, Tyrone Ferreira, Riekus Nortje, Fredrik From, Wayne Stroebel, Desne Van Den Bergh, Gideon van der Vyver, Jared Harvey, Chris Cannon, Jacques P de Villiers, Lindani Ndwandwe, Roberto Lupini
74 – Michiel Bothma, Fezekile Kana, Clancy Waugh, Jake Redman, Andre Nel, Mark Williams, Matthew Carvell, Jade Buitendag, Yubin Jung, Jason Froneman, Gerrit Foster, Martin Rohwer, Matthew Rushton
75 – Alan Michell, James Kamte, Titch Moore, Philip Eriksson, Robson Chinhoi, Thabang Simon, Theunis Bezuidenhout, Neil O’Briain, Louis Albertse, Aubrey Beckley, Michael Schutz, Sean Bradley
76 – Mervyn Galant, Colin Nel, Toto Thimba, Ryan Cairns, Jaco Theron, Erhard Lambrechts, Merrick Bremner, Gregg Upton
77 – CJ du Plessis, Mark Murless, Luke Trocado, Andre De Decker
78 – Sevey Links
79 – JC Coetzer, Neil Whitehorn
80 – Stefan Engell Andersen
83 – Ben Fouchee
RTD – Alex Haindl