Southern Cape amateur Breyten Meyer fired a four-under-par 68 for a three-way share of the first round lead with top ranked Zander Lombard and fellow Pretoria amateur Rosswell Sinclair at the IGT Tour’s fourth Race to Q-School on Monday.
The 22-year-old Kingswood golfer got off to an ideal start at Irene Country Club with three birdies and erased a costly seven at the par-four eighth with four more gains on the back nine.
“I hit the ball really well, but I just lost focus at the eighth,” he said.
“I hit five-iron off the tee and ended on the right of the fairway under some trees. I had a decent shot, but I overcooked it and overshot over the green. My ball was in a dodgy lie and I just didn’t take my time over the shot, ended up with a three-putt seven.
“The back nine was very solid, though. I spent a lot of time on my putting last week, because it just seemed tentative after the slow greens at Koro Creek.
“I shortened the back stroke and the rhythm came back perfectly. It’s nice to be in this position. It’s my fourth start in the Race to Q-School series and my goal is to try and get consistent top 10 finishes to prepare for the Sunshine Tour’s Qualifying School.”
Sinclair also had a solid opening nine with a pair of birdies at the 10th and 11th and another pair before the turn. He dropped a shot at the third, but made up for the error in judgement off the tee with a birdie at the fifth before parring his way home.
“I was pretty nervous going down the back nine,” the 17-year-old Centurion amateur admitted.
“I thought the wind would push my tee shot right, but it stayed left and I paid the price. I was happy to sink the birdie putt at the fifth to get back on track. Then I just kept things steady coming down the last four holes.”
The GFG Academy player was in this position just a few weeks ago and finished second at the IGT Tour’s Race to Asian Q-School at Wanderers.
“It’s still overwhelming, but I believe it will get easier,” he said. “It’s a whole different ballgame when you are among the leaders. That’s why I’m playing the IGT Tour. I need to put myself in contention more, so I can get used to the pressure and perform when I’m in this position.”
Coming off a runner-up finish in the third Race to Q-School at last week, Lombard launched his bid for a second title on the country’s premier development Tour this season with six birdies.
The TuksSport Golf Academy member is hunting a strong finish before he departs for Spain next week, where he will challenge in the Second Stage of the European Tour’s Qualifying School at Panoramica Golf & Sport Result in Castellon.
Ladies European Tour rookie Nobuhle Dlamini from Swaziland was among the 11 foreigners who teed it up in the first round.
Dlamini returned a 75 with two bogeys, a double drop and a birdie on her card, while fellow Sunshine Ladies Tour campaigner, Francesca Cuturi, carded a two birdie 74 to tie for 35th.
FIRST ROUND GOLF SCORES
68 - Zander Lombard (AMA), Marius Meyer (AMA), Rosswell Sinclair (AMA)
69 - Jerry Steyn
70 - Hennie Du Plessis (AMA), Teaghan Gauche (AMA), DK Kim KOR, Conway Kunneke, Coert Groenewald, Ruan Huysamen NAM
71 - Jandre Fullard (AMA), Calvin Caldeira (AMA), Russel Franz, Armandt Scholtz (AMA), Joubert Van Eeden (AMA), Pierre Viviers
72 - Conor Thornton IRE, Stephan Erasmus (AMA), Hilton Hughes (AMA), Stefan Cronje (AMA), Niel Meyer, Duane Keun, Jacquin Hess, Teagan Moore (AMA), Rae Mackie
73 - Neil Cheetham ENG, Carlos Arroyo (AMA), Romano Saincic, Wayne du Toit, Wesley Horngren, Jason Froneman (AMA), Werner Van Wyk (AMA), Andi Dill (AMA), Herman Minnie
74 - Leon Scheepers (AMA), Juan Swart, Brendan De Lange, Pieter Van der Linde (AMA), Francesca Cuturi, Robert Herselman FRA, Jason Diab (AMA), Roux Jeffery NAM
75 - Pieter Kruger, Mark Fraser, Jonathan Waschefort, Byron Garvie, Werner Van Niekerk, Marco De Beer (AMA), Nobuhle Dlamini SWZ, Michael Schutz (AMA), Tristen Strydom (AMA)
76 - Jacques de Villiers, Christiaan Pretorius, Etzard Grimbeek (AMA), Dwayne Coetzee, Arno Pretorius (AMA), Jaco Mouton, TJ Bekker, Sarel Boshoff (AMA), Zabastian De Jager (AMA)
77 - NJ Arnoldi (AMA), Andre Pistorius, Slade Fick (AMA), Michael Steyn (AMA)
78 - Julian de Wet (AMA), Mark Fairbank (AMA), Murray Smit, Glen de Waal
79 - Terence Boardman, Justin Levy NED, Keegan Steyn (AMA), Albert Visser (AMA), JC van Dommelen, David Rebelo (AMA), Victor Nhlapho, Jean-Francois Erasmus (AMA), Philip Geerts ITA (AMA), Gareth Akers (AMA), Johannes Frahs AUT (AMA), Corne Bloem
80 - Bryce Leach (AMA), Matt Milligan (AMA), Louis Taylor (AMA), Jacqui Akers (AMA), Daniel Joubert (AMA), Shaun van Tonder
81 - Werner van der Walt
83 - Sergio Alves (AMA), Ryan Kuhn (AMA), Ryan Wingrove (AMA)
84 - Sean Burger, Dylan Raubenheimer (AMA)
85 - Crystal Cooper (AMA), James Garlinge (AMA)
87 - Pedro August (AMA), Quintin Crause (AMA)
88 - Gustav Erasmus
89 - David Marks (AMA)
94 - James Benzien
98 - Philip Van Graan (AMA)
N/R - Charles Grobler (AMA)
RTD - Alwyn Vorster
DSQ - Christiaan Greyling (AMA)