Sunshine Tour

Sipho shines in Zambia

2013-05-17 19:21
Sipho Bujela (Gallo Images)
Lusaka - Rookie Sipho Bujela shot the lights out at Lusaka Golf Club on Friday, carding an eight-under-par 65 to share the Zambia Sugar Open lead going into the weekend.

“It’s a great feeling to lead. You can’t get better than this, because being at the front is everyone’s dream as a rookie. I’ve been playing beautifully but not scoring well recently, so today’s round really felt good,” he said.

The 23-year-old peppered his card with eight birdies for his first taste of leading as a professional. He joined morning leader Martin du Toit on a 10-under-par total ahead of the cut, which reduced the field to 74 players on one-over-par or better.

“It’s the first time that I’ve been up there, and it’s a learning curve for me,” explained Bujela. “I’ll take every bit of experience that I get and see where it goes. I want to compete, but I’ll to try to play with the same mindset that I had today, because I was very relaxed.”

The Modderfontein Golf Club professional earned his card through the Vusi Ngubeni Qualifying School, where he shot a first-round 64 en route to a sole fourth result.

He made his first cut at the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open a month ago and that marked a turning point in his game. He’s learnt that it takes plenty of practice to hone one’s game.

“I’ve been struggling off the tee, but I put in hard work on that area of my game and today everything clicked. I was driving it well, my irons were accurate and I putted very nicely. I’ll take 65 any day,” he cheered.

Du Toit lead at the start of the day, and claimed his share of the top spot with a Friday 70. He was happy with the consistency in his game, especially at Lusaka, where keeping it in play is crucial.

“To be 10-under-par after two days is perfect to me, and I’m going to try to keep it going. Just sticking to the basics will keep me up there,” he stated.

Zambian Madalitso Muthiya shot five-under-par 67 to head up the local charge in a share of 11th. He played at Lusaka Golf Club as a boy and reminisced over how he used to dream of winning the Zambia Open back in those days. He could make it a reality this week.

“When I was just six years old and starting out with golf I watched this tournament, and I believed I could put my name on the trophy when I was growing up. If that happens this week it would be something of a dream come true,” he said.

Scores: (RSA unless otherwise specified):

136 - Martin du Toit 66 70, Sipho Bujela 71 65
137 - Desne van den Bergh 67 70
138 - Doug McGuigan 69 69
139 - Adilson Da Silva (BRA) 67 72, Desvonde Botes 71 68, Neil Schietekat 72 67, Ulrich van den Berg 69 70
140 - Christiaan Basson 72 68, Vaughn Groenewald 73 67
141 - Hendrik Buhrmann 70 71, Divan van den Heever 71 70, Madalitso Muthiya (ZAM) 73 68, Matthew Carvell 72 69, Johan de Beer 72 69,Jacques Blaauw 69 72
142 - Coenie Bester 74 68, Francesco Laporta (ITA) 72 70, Micky Hough (ZIM) 70 72, Ryan Cairns (ZIM) 71 71, Michael Hollick 73 69
143 - Andrew Georgiou 74 69, Steven Ferreira 73 70, Jake Roos 75 68, Alex Haindl 69 74, Titch Moore 71 72, Jared Harvey 77 66
144 - Derick Petersen 73 71, Darryn Lloyd 72 72, Jacques Kruyswijk 72 72, Des Terblanche 72 72, Justin Harding 73 71,TC Charamba (ZIM) 69 75, CJ du Plessis 74 70, Duane Keun 73 71, Bryan Martin (USA) 72 72, Anthony Michael 72 72, Warren Abery 74 70,Mark Murless 72 72
145 - Clifford Howes 71 74, Mark Williams 72 73, Allan Versfeld 75 70, Bryce Easton 73 72, James Kamte 70 75, Steve Surry (ENG) 71 74,John Bele 72 73, Stephen Ferreira (POR) 71 74, Attie Schwartzel 75 70, Riekus Nortje 72 73, JG Claassen 75 70, Lyle Rowe 78 67,Patrick Mwendapole (ZAM) 72 73
146 - Daniel Hammond 74 72, Kenneth Dube 74 72, Omar Sandys 72 74, Derik Ferreira 72 74, Lindani Ndwandwe 70 76,Tyrone Mordt 70 76, Louis Calitz 76 70, Ryan Thompson 72 74, JJ Senekal 71 75, Danie van Tonder 71 75, Alpheus Kelapile 74 72,Shaun Smith 76 70
147 - Theunis Spangenberg 76 71, Grant Veenstra 73 74, Grant Muller 74 73, Torben Baumann (GER) 73 74, Dismas Indiza (KEN) 74 73,Divan Gerber 72 75, Charl Coetzee 72 75, Graham van der Merwe 75 72, Francois Coetzee 70 77, Ignatius Mketekete (ZIM) 75 72

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