Calitz sets pace at Sishen
Louis Calitz (Gallo Images)
Kathu - Louis Calitz led a professional tournament for the first time in his career as he carded four-under-par in the first round of the R540 000 Vodacom Origins of Golf event at Sishen Golf Club on Wednesday.
Calitz shares the lead with Jean Hugo, Ulrich van den Berg and afternoon starter Allan Michell after all three players shot 68 and finished one shot clear of the competition.
“As the day started I was thinking I must just try to keep it in play, and now I am leading a tournament for the first time,” said an enthusiastic Calitz.
Afternoon-starter Michell shot into contention with an eagle on the 15th. His scrambling was on top form on Wednesday as he made only six fairways yet made only one drop in his round. “It wasn’t fairway and green type golf, but I managed hold on and eventually got what I wanted,” said Michell.
Calitz, on the other hand, dominated every par-five on the course, beginning with birdies on his front nine at the second and the sixth. “I knew that if I birdie the par-fives I would be in with a shout,” he said.
Beyond the turn Calitz really opened up on the long holes, starting with a 25-foot putt for eagle on the par-five 11th - and his first taste of four-under.
It would not be the last eagle of his round, and at the 15th Calitz landed the ball just six feet from the pin before sinking for the second eagle of his round.
Calitz will be excited for a first-time lead going into round two, but faces a serious challenge from the likes of Simola winner Hugo, six-time tournament winner Van den Berg, and 32-time top-10 finisher Michell.
The leading group led by one from Neil Schietekat and Willie van der Merwe, with a group of six players on two-under, including the leader in the race for the Rookie of the Year title, Allan Versveld.Scores (RSA unless specified):
68 - Jean Hugo, Ulrich van den Berg, Louis Calitz, Alan Michell
69 - Neil Schietekat, Willie van der Merwe
70 - Irvin Mazibuko, Bryce Easton, Trevor Fisher Jnr, Jake Roos, Allan Versfeld, Louis Moolman
71 - Toto Thimba (Jnr), Justin Walters, Charl Coetzee, Jaco Ahlers, Christiaan Basson, Doug McGuigan, Adilson da Silva (BRA), Adrian Ford, Steven Ferreira
72 - Prinavin Nelson, Desvonde Botes, Dean O'Riley, Teboho Sefatsa, Merrick Bremner
73 - Colin Nel, Chris Swanepoel, Jacques Blaauw, Justin Harding, PH McIntyre, Omar Sandys, Lyle Rowe, Neil Cheetham (ENG), Grant Muller, Des Terblanche
74 - Hendrik Buhrmann, Brett Liddle, Andre Cruse, Josh Cunliffe, Theunis Spangenberg, Albert Pistorius, Bradford Vaughan, Vaughn Groenewald, Andrew Curlewis
75 - Ryan Tipping, Ryan Strauss, Johan Bekker, Ryan Cairns (ZIM), Dean Burmester, Oliver Bekker, Louis de Jager, JG Claassen, Johan du Buisson
76 - Jeff Inglis (ENG), JJ Senekal, Lindani Ndwandwe, Clinton Whitelaw, David Hewan, Keenan Davidse
77 - Attie Schwartzel, Grant Veenstra, Rossouw Loubser, Francois van Vuuren, Reggie Adams, Alex Haindl
78 - Divan van den Heever, Bennie van der Merwe
79 - James Kamte, PG van Zyl
80 - Derik Ferreira
81 - Brandon Pieters