EKURHULENI, August 19 – Glendower Golf Club is a South African gem and it proved to be a great test of golf for the Big Easy Tour professionals on Tuesday. Tyrone Ryan (pictured) was up to the challenge and ground out an opening 71 at the parklands track to tie for lead at the close of round one.
“I made a couple of silly mistakes and this is the type of course that will make you pay for that, but other than that my game was solid. It wasn’t a very scorable round today, so I was pleased to shoot one-under,” he said.
The 25-year-old was one of four players to break par on Tuesday and his share of the lead has come at a crucial time in the Big Easy Tour season. This week marks the final event of the regular season, after which the top 30 on the Order of Merit progress to the Tour Championship at The Els Club, Copperleaf.
Ryan set out on Tuesday with the Tour Championship in the back of his mind and ground out a one-under-par first round in tricky scoring conditions. His four years on tour helped him to stay patient when the going got tough.
“My game is feeling good and in winter it’s quite hard to score, so my spirits are high after the way I’ve been playing recently. The Tour Championship is certainly on my mind and it’s a great tournament for us, so I’ll be looking for a good result this week to try and make it in,” he said.
The Bryanston Country Club member took advantage of the par fives on his way to the top spot, which he shared with Lean Boezaart, Gert Myburgh and Drikus van der Walt.
“I managed to birdie three of the four par-fives today,” said Ryan. “It was a case of hitting it up to the green and then trying to get up and down for birdie.
“It’s nice to shoot under par at the start of any event, especially in the heart of winter when the ball runs. In these conditions it can be difficult to put the right spin on the ball and stop it where you’d like, so that adds to the frustration. I’m really pleased to walk away with today’s score.”
GOLF SCORES (RSA unless otherwise specified):
71 – Tyrone Ryan, Lean Boezaart, Gert Myburgh, Drikus van der Walt
72 – Mark Fensham, Wayne Stroebel, Kenneth Dube, Paul de Beer, Jaco Prinsloo, Jacques de Villiers
73 – Jacquin Hess, Henk Alberts, Neil Cheetham (ENG)
74 – Callie Swart, Beyers Smith, Juan Langeveld, John McClean, Eddie Taylor, Tiaan Diederiks, Stuart Smith (BOT), Tsietsi Mofokeng (LES), Ryan Birnie
75 – Grant Veenstra, Chris Erasmus, Aubrey Barnard, Romano Saincic, Tyron McComb
76 – Mikhail Tewary, Makhetha Mazibuko, Ryan Ciapparelli, Zak van Zyl, Khaya Jika, Otto van Greunen, Reggie Adams, Werner van Niekerk, JC Ritchie, Dayne Moore (ZAM)
77 – Terence Salo, Maritz Wessels, Greg Bentley (ZIM), Gideon Pienaar
78 – MJ Viljoen, Morne Buys, Clifford Howes, TJ Bekker, Louis Taylor (AMA), Brett Liddle, Stefan Engell Andersen (KEN), Paul Boshoff (AMA)
79 – Ryan Clarke, Roberto Lupini, Pieter Kruger, Andrew Light, Jean-Claude van Dommelen, Matthew Kent, Dongkwan Kim (KOR), Rudy Whitfield
80 – Nelson Mudanyi (KEN), Henry Featherstone (ENG)
81 – Tertius van den Berg, Ryan Thompson, Langley Perrins, Jonathan Waschefort, Sheldon Steyn (ZIM), Michael Dreyer, Neo Thubisi
82 – Johann Mostert, Irvin Mazibuko, Siyanda Mwandla (AMA), Mokgejane Kutumane
83 – Christian Mbanga (ZIM), Ruan Huysamen (NAM), Dylan Jacobs (AMA)
84 – Peter Wilson (ENG)
88 – Cameron Esau
89 – Ramon Rigney
94 – Marlon Swarts
Source: Sunshine Tour