Johannesburg - Two eagles
on their opening nine at Dainfern Country Club saw defending champions Jean
Hugo and Hennie du Plessis card a 14-under-par 58 in their opening fourball
round of the Team Championship on Thursday.
started on the 10th and did not drop a single shot in the betterball
scoring, making 10 birdies in addition to those eagles, including five birdies
in a row to close out their round and give them a one-stroke edge over Daniel
Greene and Jake Redman. Jaco Prinsloo and JC Ritchie were in third on
11-under-par with four teams on 10-under.
"We got off
to a good start," said Du Plessis. "We didn't hit good tee shots but we managed
to make a few birdies in the first few holes and a good eagle on the third -
the 12th - and we just kept it going."
eagle came on the 502-metre par-five 18th, and they missed an
opportunity to go even lower when neither of them was able to go any better
than par on the 476-metre par-five second - the only par-five where they didn't
pick up a shot or more.
It was a
question of taking advantage of the freedom the format gives players.
relaxed in this kind of format," said Du Plessis. "You have so much more
confidence when you know your partner is hitting the ball straight and giving
himself a lot of opportunities too."
"You don't have to really be in form or that confident," he said. "If you
believe in your playing partner and you've got confidence in him and his game,
you feel that much better. That's what our game is like. We just spur each
other on so well. When he's on form, I just let him go. Sometimes, the
temptation is there to help him with something, but you've just got to get out
of his way."
Greene made 13 birdies between them, and worked out a strategy which got the
best out of each player.
"You've got to be aggressive, but the guy who's
playing first needs to not put too much pressure on his partner," said Redman.
brought a slightly more conservative mindset to his approach. "You've got to
keep mistakes to a minimum," he said. "Just keep it in the fairway, and
mistakes can happen easily, so you've just got to be careful."
sharing fourth on 10-under included Andrew van der Knaap and Luke Jerling,
Jacques Blaauw and Merrick Bremner, Rourke van der Spuy and Jean Pierre
Strydom, and Jaco Ahlers and Vaughn Groenewald.
round will be foursomes (alternate shot), after which there will be a cut to
the top 24 teams ahead of the final round which sees a return to fourball play.
58 - J Hugo & H Du Plessis
59 - D
Greene & J Redman
61 - J
Prinsloo & JC Ritchie
62 - A
Van der Knaap & L Jerling, J Blaauw & M Bremner, R van der
Spuy & JP Strydom, J Ahlers & V Groenewald
63 - R
de Smidt & W Dingle, C Basson & J Roos, M Palmer & T
Ryan, A Haig & T Ferreira, L Rowe & S Surry, MJ Viljoen
& O Strydom, A Michael & R Tipping
64 - J
Smith & W Stroebel, A Nel & C Cannon, J de Villiers & A
Versfeld, B Follett-Smith & S Ferreira, M Muthiya & A
Odoh, A Beckley & K McClatchie, C Groenewald & D Moore, P
Geerts & J Buitendag
65 - V
Lange & N O’Briain, R McGowan & R Enoch, T Thimba & M
Carvell, F Manchest & T Sefatsa, D McGuigan & H Otto, C
Swanepoel & CJ du Plessis, U van den Berg & T Fisher Jnr, E
Conradie & R Conradie
66 - D
van Tonder & T Tree, R Nortje & P Moolman, D Petersen & K
Davidse, A Bux & J Froneman, M Nethunzwi & A de Kock, P
Eriksson & F From
67 - JJ
Senekal & R West, B Meyer & C Mowat, T Bezuidenhout & E
Lambrechts, T Moore & W Coetsee
68 - H
Bruiners & J Hess, T Lawrence & L Albertse, M Mazibuko &
T Simon, M Rohwer & A De Decker
69 - C
Nel & N Schietekat, J Harvey & M Hollick, D Keun & R
70 - T
Gauche & J Viljoen
71 - M
McNulty & C Davison
72 - H
Loubser & S Campbell