Port Edward – Ockie Strydom made seven birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey to sign for an opening round three-under-par 67 at the Sun Wild Coast Sun Challenge to share the lead with PH McIntyre on Wednesday.
“It was tough out there,” said Strydom after his round, “and I think the par-threes were a bit tough because I think I made two drops and a double there but otherwise, I played nicely and I’m happy.”
He credited his caddie for calming him down following that double bogey on 13. “It was a soft seven-iron but I pulled it left onto the gorge,” Strydom said of the double, “and then my caddie just told me ‘listen, just hang in there, we’re still there’ and I think he played a big role to calm me down, and yeah, a good fight back to finish on three-under.”
McIntyre, on the other hand, carded a bogey-free three-under-par 67 to share the lead. Birdies on one, 15 and 16 catapulted him to the summit of the leaderboard where he would later be joined by Strydom.
“I am delighted after that round,” McIntyre said. “The greens are a bit tougher but the wind also stopped blowing in the afternoon so we got a bit of luck. But I played nicely.”
After a few months of struggling with his game, McIntyre was pleased to have put together a solid round in testing conditions at the windy coastal course. “I was struggling the last few months,” he said, “so it’s nice to be back for a little bit on the leaderboard, so I am excited.”
Sharing second and lurking a stroke behind on two-under 68 are Vaughn Groenewald who won this tournament in 2015, Tyrone Ryan, Jared Harvey, Alex Haindl, Christiaan Basson, Zambia’s Madalitso Muthiya, Daniel van Tonder and rookie Andrew van der Knaap.
67 - PH McIntyre, Ockie Strydom
68 - Vaughn Groenewald, Tyrone Ryan, Jared Harvey, Alex Haindl, Christiaan Basson, Madalitso Muthiya, Daniel van Tonder, Andrew van der Knaap
69 - JC Ritchie, Jacques P de Villiers, Oliver Bekker, Keenan Davidse, Jean Hugo, Justin Harding, Doug McGuigan, James Kamte, Merrick Bremner, Altaaf Bux
70 - Lyle Rowe, Rourke van der Spuy, Hennie du Plessis, Ruan de Smidt, Gert Myburgh, Jacquin Hess, Andrew Curlewis, Titch Moore, Chris Swanepoel, Neil Schietekat, Wallie Coetsee, Luke Jerling, Mark Murless, Omar Sandys
71 - Aubrey Beckley, Tyrone Ferreira, Cameron Esau, Andre Nel, Allan Versfeld, Lindani Ndwandwe, Michael Palmer, Darren Fichardt, Ulrich van den Berg, Bryandrew Roelofsz
72 - Kyle Pilgrim, Louis de Jager, Mark Williams, Leorin Pillay, Jake Redman, Steven Ferreira, Antonio Rosado, MJ Viljoen, Jeff Inglis, Greg Bentley, Ruan Huysamen
73 - Jason Viljoen, Combrinck Smit, Callum Mowat, Michael Hollick, Matias Calderon, Matthew Carvell, N.J. Arnoldi, Jaco Prinsloo, Matthew Spacey, Musiwalo Nethunzwi, Chris Cannon, Colin Nel, JJ Senekal, Desne Van Den Bergh, Mohammad Rauf Mandhu
74 - Wynand Dingle, Peter Karmis, Anthony Michael, Stephen Ferreira, Gerard du Plooy, Danie Van Niekerk, Stefan Engell Andersen, Jason Froneman, Ryan Tipping
75 - Jason Smith, Martin Rohwer, Theunis Spangenberg, Jonathan Agren, Breyten Meyer, Kevin Stone, Andre De Decker, Thanda Mavundla, Makhetha Mazibuko, Andrew Odoh
76 - Heinrich Bruiners, Drikus van der Walt, Kyle Barker, Stuart Smith, Divan Gerber
77 - Herman Loubser
78 - Jason Roets, Wayne Stroebel, Francois Coetzee, Dayne Moore, Jaco Mouton, Rhys West, Johan van der Wath
79 - Irvin Mazibuko, Cody Martin, Teaghan Gauche
81 - Damon Stephenson, Dongkwan Kim, Quintin Wilsnach, Cosmas Mufaya
82 - Michael Green, Antonio Costa, Dylan Docherty