England’s Steve Surry got a little carried away with his birdie putt on the final hole in the first round on Thursday of the Vodacom Origins of Golf event at St Francis Links, but still carded an eight-under-par 64 to lead.
He made 10 birdies and two bogeys to take a one-stroke edge into the second round over Hennie du Plessis in the R750,000 event played over 54 holes. Surry was looking for his 11th birdie on the 18th, but ended up making bogey.
‘I got a bit excited about trying to get to 10-under, and I hit my first putt four feet by,’ he said. ‘I just missed the one coming back, which was a bit of a shame, but it was a good round of golf.’
Surry, who plays out of Cumberwell Park in Wiltshire, is a regular on the Sunshine Tour, and has a best finish of a share of second in the 2015 Lion of Africa Cape Town Open.
‘It’s my second week back on the Sunshine Tour,’ he said. ‘Having a couple of weeks at the coast for me to start with is good, because it suits my game a bit more. I did okay last week when I finished in a share of 15th, so it would be nice to have another good week this week.
‘I was just quite solid today, really. I didn’t hit many bad shots and holed a few putts. It was just one of those days where everything went well.’
Du Plessis in second also had two bogeys on his card, and was thrilled with his round. ‘I knew a low score was out there, so I just attacked the flags,’ he said. ‘I played the par-fives brilliantly. When I couldn’t get there, I laid up to perfect yardage and knocked it close. I made a lot of good birdies on the par-fives.’
A further shot back in a share of third were JC Ritchie and Alex Haindl. Ritchie finished in a hurry with six consecutive birdies after turning in level par with two birdies and two bogeys. Haindl, on the other hand, was flawless, making three birdies on each nine.
For Surry, it was about making the best of his early start. ‘My thoughts when I saw the early tee time? I’m not a fan of getting up early. All the lads give me a bit of stick when I get an early tee time,’ he said.
‘It was a great start. It was a little bit blowy this morning, and the weather got better throughout the day. I got a bit of momentum going early, then bogeyed nine. I had a few birdies on the back nine, and bogeyed the last.’
He’ll no doubt be happy with his 11am start in Friday’s second round!
Picture of Surry courtesy of Luke Walker/Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images
FIRST ROUND SCORES
64 – Steve Surry
65 – Hennie du Plessis
66 – JC Ritchie, Alex Haindl
67 – Breyten Meyer, Colin Nel
68 – Wallie Coetsee, Neil Schietekat, Madalitso Muthiya, Allan Versfeld, Francois Coetzee, Peter Karmis, Scott Campbell
69 – Anthony Michael, JJ Senekal, Chris Swanepoel, Sipho Bujela, Jake Roos, Doug McGuigan, Justin Harding, Louis de Jager, N.J. Arnoldi, Makhetha Mazibuko, Damon Stephenson, Sean Bradley
70 – Callum Mowat, Aubrey Beckley, Jeff Inglis, Michael Hollick, Mark Murless, Ruan de Smidt, Titch Moore, Oliver Bekker, Jonathan Agren
71 – Mohammad Rauf Mandhu, Vaughn Groenewald, Rhys West, Merrick Bremner, Ockie Strydom, Jaco Prinsloo, Theunis Spangenberg, Jacquin Hess, Antonio Rosado, Dwayne Basson, Lyle Rowe, Steven Ferreira
72 – Allister de Kock, Stuart Smith, Tyrone Ferreira, Ryan Tipping, Matthew Spacey, Christiaan Basson, Andrew Curlewis, Martin Rominger
73 – Stefan Engell Andersen, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Hennie Otto, Desne Van Den Bergh, Ruan Huysamen, Charl Coetzee, Jacques P de Villiers, Gert Myburgh, Cody Martin, Jean Hugo, Garth Mulroy, Lindani Ndwandwe
74 – Arthur Horne, Dongkwan Kim, Matias Calderon, Combrinck Smit, Andrew van der Knaap, Thanda Mavundla, Jared Harvey, Heinrich Bruiners, Irvin Mazibuko
75 – Jake Redman, Herman Loubser, Tyrone Ryan, Mark Williams, James Kamte, Wynand Dingle, Jason Roets, Musiwalo Nethunzwi
76 – Jason Froneman, Luke Jerling, Andre Nel, Anton Haig
77 – CJ du Plessis, Gerard du Plooy, Jason Smith
78 – Danie Van Niekerk, Omar Sandys, Altaaf Bux
79 – William Weidner, Cameron Esau, Matthew Carvell, MJ Viljoen
80 – Bradford Vaughan, Keenan Davidse, Jaco Mouton
81 – Coert Groenewald
83 – Bryandrew Roelofsz