Cape Town – Peter Karmis took the opportunity offered by a calm day on King David Mowbray Golf Club on Thursday to post a brilliant nine-under-par 63 to lead the first round of the Cape Town Open.
He made nine birdies without dropping a shot on his way to a one-stroke edge over Zimbabwe Open champion JC Ritchie and Wales’ Rhys Enoch. They were, in turn, a further stroke ahead of a huge group of a dozen players on seven-under-par 65 as players took advantage of the benign conditions.
“Today, there was no wind really,” said Karmis. “Mowbray is a bit tame when there is no wind.”
While it might have been tame, Karmis still had to produce the goods to make those nine birdies, and with two titles on the 2017-18 Sunshine Tour already under his belt, he’s clearly in good shape. “I’m very pleased. I putted very well today, and I drove it fairly well as well,” he said. “I hit a lot of fairways so I gave myself opportunities to attack the flags, and then I putted so well. I haven’t putted so well in a very long time.”
That he was able to putt so well was tribute to the greens-keeping staff at King David Mowbray who got the course into tournament shape despite the challenges posed by the severe drought and tough water restrictions in Cape Town.
“The greens are pure,” said Karmis. “I grew up in Cape Town, so I know the course very well, and I don’t think I’ve seen the greens this good in my entire life.”
Like Karmis, Ritchie was also please with his putting. “I’m hitting the golf ball really well and putts were falling everywhere I was looking,” he said. “There was a lonely little three-putt bogey on my first hole and that was about it for the day.
“My work off the tee and my wedge play has sparked my consistency recently. I’ve been hitting a lot of wedges to within very makeable distances and the putter’s been there to back it up.”
With so many players under par for the opening round, it was certainly clear that the course played easy. But Karmis pointed out that King David Mowbray could bare its teeth in the right conditions. “When the southeaster blows, even mildly, it is actually quite a challenge,” he said. “There are a lot of cross-wind holes, a lot of small greens, a lot of narrow fairways, so it actually gets quite difficult.”
With the wind forecast to pick up a little during Friday’s second round, scores might not be quite as impressive.
63 - Peter Karmis
64 - JC Ritchie, Rhys Enoch
65 - James Kamte, Merrick Bremner, Oliver Bekker, Jaco Ahlers, Hennie du Plessis, Vaughn Groenewald, Mark Williams, Jean Hugo, Justin Harding, Lyle Rowe, Martin Rohwer, Ryan Cairns
66 - Keenan Davidse, Jaco Prinsloo, James Kingston, Toby Tree, Antoine Rozner, Rourke van der Spuy
67 - Damon Stephenson, Scott Campbell, Ockie Strydom, Christiaan Basson, Neil Schietekat, Andre De Decker, Benjamin Follett-Smith, Chris Lloyd, Kyle McClatchie, Jack Harrison, Danie Van Niekerk, Ruan Huysamen, Nyasha Muyambo
68 - Cody Martin, Michael Hollick, Colin Nel, Daniel van Tonder, Louis de Jager, Wallie Coetsee, Jake Roos, Michael Palmer, Billy Spooner, Luke Joy, Tyrone Ferreira, Toto Thimba, JJ Senekal, Antonio Rosado, Altaaf Bux, Allan Versfeld, Quintin Wilsnach, Neil O'Briain
69 - Steve Surry, Doug McGuigan, Andrew Curlewis, Jared Harvey, Ruan de Smidt, Scott Vincent, Herman Loubser, Francois Coetzee, James Wade, Romain Langasque, Rhys West, Tyrone Ryan, Jason Viljoen, Jonathan Agren
70 - Cameron Esau, Ian Ansett, Charl Coetzee, Jacques Blaauw, Dawie Van der Walt, Morten Orum Madsen, Ulrich van den Berg, Titch Moore, Alex Haindl, Garth Mulroy, Madalitso Muthiya, Andre Nel, Luke Jerling, Andrew Georgiou, Dayne Moore, Antonio Costa, Bryce Easton, Jean-Paul Strydom, Tjaart van der Walt, Francesco Laporta, Jason Froneman, Coert Groenewald, Stuart Smith
71 - Gert Myburgh, Omar Sandys, Callum Mowat, Marc Cayeux, Shaun Norris, Riekus Nortje, Hennie Otto, Lindani Ndwandwe, Sean Bradley, Matthew Rushton, Matthew Spacey, Chris Cannon, Matthew Carvell, Chris Swanepoel, Zack Byrd, Jake Redman, Stephen Ferreira, Martin Rominger
72 - Allister de Kock, Derick Petersen, Michiel Bothma, Combrinck Smit, MJ Viljoen, Matias Calderon, Aubrey Beckley, Jason Smith, Desne Van Den Bergh, Andrew van der Knaap, Anthony Michael, Steven Ferreira, CJ du Plessis, Pieter Kruger
73 - PH McIntyre, Dongkwan Kim, Teaghan Gauche, Jason Diab
74 - Dwayne Basson, Jacquin Hess, Theunis Spangenberg, Wynand Dingle, Alan Michell, Gerrit Foster, Mervyn Galant
75 - Heinrich Bruiners, Brett Liddle, Ryan Tipping, Sipho Bujela, Mohammad Rauf Mandhu, Jack McDonald, Jack Kutumane, N.J. Arnoldi, Thriston Lawrence, Makhetha Mazibuko, Mike Michell
76 - Breyten Meyer, Keagan Beyer, Gerard du Plooy
77 - Musiwalo Nethunzwi, Andrew Mackie
78 - John Parkinson, Brian Gondo, Gregg Upton
79 - Luca Cianchetti, Stefan Engell Andersen, Johan Engelbrecht
80 - TJ Biggs, Greg Bentley