Port Alfred – Jason Viljoen fired a five-under-par 67 on Wednesday to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the R700,000 Sun Fish River Sun Challenge being played at the Fish River Sun Hotel and Country Club.
He made six birdies and a single bogey during his round which helped him finish ahead of Steven Ferreira who was alone in second on four-under. Titch Moore, Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Trevor Mahoney were in a share of third on three-under.
The 23-year-old Viljoen won the Sunshine Big Easy Tour Championship exactly a month ago, and that has spurred him on to perform well on the Sunshine Tour. “Definitely, it has been a big boost. I’m just trying to get the same mind-set on the Sunshine Tour,” he said.
Viljoen knows it will not be an easy feat to achieve instant success on the Sunshine Tour. “You just got to grind it out: just keep grinding and keep on going,” he said. “Some weeks it will work and some weeks it won’t. I think everybody gets a little bit down but you just got to keep on going; keep on fighting.”
His fourth place finish at the Lombard Insurance Classic at the Royal Swazi Spa Country Club was motivation for greater success on the Sunshine Tour for Viljoen, especially because he wants to establish himself as a force to be reckoned with locally.
He kept things together well during a windy morning. “It’s all heading in the right direction. The driving is very good and the putting is definitely very good as well,” he said of his opening round.
67 - Jason Viljoen
68 - Steven Ferreira
69 - Titch Moore, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Trevor Mahoney
70 - Oliver Bekker, Doug McGuigan, JC Ritchie, Ruan de Smidt, Charl Coetzee, Jacquin Hess, Pieter Kruger, Jonathan Agren
71 - Calvin Pearson, PH McIntyre, Christiaan Basson, Bryce Bibby, Francois van Vuuren, Colin Nel, Neil Schietekat, Toby Tree, Thanda Mavundla
72 - Mark Fensham, Mark Williams, Wallie Coetsee, Danie van Tonder, Teboho Sefatsa, Jake Roos, Roux Jeffery, Peter Karmis, Anthony Michael, Tyrone Ferreira, CJ du Plessis
73 - Garth Mulroy, Justin Harding, Jeff Hopkins, Vaughn Groenewald, Derick Petersen, Gert Myburgh, Allister de Kock, Ruan Huysamen, Ryan Cairns, Madalitso Muthiya, Callum Mowat
74 - Teaghan Gauche, Jacques P de Villiers, Chris Swanepoel, Jake Redman, Jared Harvey, Stefan Engell Andersen, Makhetha Mazibuko, Matthew Carvell, Breyten Meyer, Andrew Georgiou
75 - Michael Hollick, Mark Murless, Louis de Jager, Lindani Ndwandwe, Tyrone Ryan, Lyle Rowe, Ulrich van den Berg, Rourke van der Spuy
76 - Dayne Moore, Stuart Smith, Merrick Bremner, Joe Nawanga, Dwayne Basson, Andrew Odoh, Andrew Curlewis, Theunis Spangenberg, Robert Braithwaite
77 - Andre Cruse, Drikus Bruyns, Le Roux Ferreira, MJ Viljoen, Stephen Ferreira
78 - Werner van Niekerk, Jason Diab, Rhys West, Shane Granger, Greg Bentley, Heinrich Bruiners, Keenan Davidse, Michael Palmer, Jason Froneman
79 - Jaco Prinsloo, Ooko Erick Obura, Tyrone Mordt, Russel Franz, Mikhail Tewary
80 - Steve Surry, James Kamte, Neal Herman
81 - JJ Senekal
82 - Joe Dludlu
85 - Ryan Tipping
88 - Nemanja Savic
RTD - Alex Haindl