Cape Town - Lyle Rowe was in a buoyant mood after a six-under-par 66 earned him a share
of the first round lead at the R1.5 million Lion of Africa Cape Town Open,
but it was co-leader Hennie Otto who had more reasons to smile on Thursday.
Anahita’s Otto and Rowe from the Eastern
Province set the early mark and, as first round action wrapped up at Royal Cape
Golf Club, their target remained unchallenged.
Otto was remarkable consistent as he
reeled in three pairs of birdies at the first and second, fifth and sixth and
11th and 12th and drained a final birdie putt at the
Coming off a tie for 21st
on the European Tour’s DP World Tour Championship on Sunday, Otto completed his
round in loops of 33 to join Rowe in pole position.
While most of the players in the
156-strong field would focus on their gains, the three-time European Tour
winner had just only black mark on his card and it was the lone bogey at the
470m, par-four third that left Otto smiling.
Four weeks of hard graft with renowned
coach Jamie Gough to correct his swing has made a world of difference to his
“Three weeks ago, my bogeys outnumbered my
birdies in the World Golf Championship – HSBC Champions,” the Anahita golfer
said. “This is what we have been working towards and it’s really great to get
off to this kind of start.
“To shoot six-under in the
first round is always good and I’ll take that score any day. The key for Cape
Town, and for coastal golf, is to manage the wind effectively.”
Otto has been at it non-stop
for 14 weeks and finished 46th in the Race to Dubai, but taking the
week off was not an option.
“The opportunity to clinch
the final spot into the Nedbank Golf Challenge next week, is too big to pass
up,” said the 38-year-old.
“I grew up watching the
Million Dollar and I had to come out here and try to win. It’s nice to get
yourself in contention early in on, to give yourself a chance.”
Rowe used four practice
rounds to come to grips with the 6 235m layout and racked in five straight
birdies from the fourth in the blustery conditions.
He rattled home three more
birdies on the back nine to dip to eight under, but the 27-year-old Port Elizabeth golfer
lost the advantage with back-to-back bogeys at 15 and 16.
Port Elizabeth’s Titch
Moore, a two-time winner this season, top contender Danie van Tonder and Omar
Sandys are among the seven players lurking a shot of the pace.
Otto’s stable mates at
Lumenrock Sport Management International had a day of mixed fortunes.
Zimbabwe’s Mark Williams
returned a 69 to tie for 15th, while Vaughn Groenewald joined
defending champion Tjaart van der Walt in the 15-man bus at one under 71.
Keith Horne was going along
nicely, but a seven at the par-five 16th was the seven-time Sunshine
Tour winner slip to joint 66th on one over 73.
Teboho Sefatsa, Louis de
Jager and PH McIntyre registered respective rounds of 75, 78 and 81.
SCORES (RSA unless otherwise specified):
66 - Lyle
Rowe, Hennie Otto
67 - Jeff
Inglis (ENG), Brandon Stone, Danie van Tonder, Michael Hollick, Titch Moore,
Omar Sandys, Adrian Ford
68 - Nic
Henning, Rhys Enoch (WAL), Chris Swanepoel, Ryan Tipping, Andrew Georgiou
69 - Paul
de Beer, Trevor Fisher Jnr, Thomas Aiken, Jake Redman, Ross McGowan (ENG),
Derik Ferreira, Mark Williams (ZIM), Adilson Da Silva (BRA), Jack Harrison
(ENG), Andrew Curlewis
70 - Derick
Petersen, Daniel Greene, Dylan Frittelli, Doug McGuigan, George Coetzee, Peter
Karmis, Steven Ferreira, Stuart Smith (BOT), Wallie Coetsee, Darren Fichardt,
David Drysdale (SCO)
71 - Kevin
Stone, Dean Burmester, Jaco Ahlers, Vaughn Groenewald, Merrick Bremner, David
Frost, Justin Harding, Darryn Lloyd, Rhys West, Lindani Ndwandwe, Tjaart van
der Walt, Justin Walters, Jean Hugo, Wynand Dingle, Jared Harvey
72 - Greg
Bentley (ZIM), Haydn Porteous, Tyrone Ferreira, Heinrich Bruiners, Le Roux
Ferreira, Matthew Carvell, Jean-Paul Strydom, Roberto Lupini, John Bele, Drikus
van der Walt, Makhetha Mazibuko, CJ du Plessis, Christiaan Basson, Jacques
Blaauw, Jbe' Kruger
73 - Wayne
Bradley, Kenneth Dube, Desne van den Bergh, Tyrone Ryan, Desvonde Botes, Ulrich
van den Berg, Jake Roos, Gideon Pienaar, Allister de Kock, Alex Haindl, Bryce
Bibby, Warren Abery, Keith Horne, Pieter Moolman, Keenan Davidse, Louis Calitz,
74 - Gregg
Upton, Dean O'Riley, Mark Murless, Colin Nel, Tyrone Mordt, Tertius van den
Berg, Sipho Bujela, Morne Buys, JC Ritchie, Alan Michell, Grant Veenstra, Ockie
Strydom, Neo Thubisi
75 - Johan
du Buisson, Torben Baumann (GER), Drikus Bruyns, JJ Senekal, Branden Grace,
Allan Versfeld, Thabang Simon, Eddie Taylor, Jacques Kruyswijk, Neil Cheetham
(ENG), Teboho Sefatsa, Jaco Prinsloo, Oliver Bekker, Ross Wellington, Shaun
Smith, Madalitso Muthiya (ZAM), Steve Surry (ENG), Justin Turner, Kevin Stinson
(CAN), James Wade
76 - Juan
Langeveld, Anthony Michael, Shaun Norris, Neil Schietekat, James Kamte, Riekus
Nortje, Francesco Laporta (ITA), Stefan Engell Andersen (KEN), Dayne Moore
(ZAM), Andrew Light, Ryan Cairns (ZIM), JG Claassen, Erik van Rooyen, Theunis
Spangenberg, Divan van den Heever, Callum Mowat, Gert Myburgh, Ryan Thompson
77 - Ruan
de Smidt, Bennie van der Merwe, Maritz Wessels, Charl Coetzee
Bradford Vaughan, Attie Schwartzel, Andre Cruse, Andrew Odoh (NGA), Louis de
Jager, PJ Woest
Francois Coetzee, Michiel Bothma, Toto Thimba (Jnr), Terence Salo, Nelson
80 - Graham
van der Merwe, Jacquin Hess
81 - Irvin
Mazibuko, PH McIntyre, Ryan Strauss
82 - Johann
Naude, JP Laubscher
83 - Louis