35-year-old Durbanite Jared Harvey had the weather gods on his side in Thursday’s first round of the Vodacom Origins of Golf Championship in Knysna.
Harvey, a seasoned and tried Sunshine Series money player, recorded a score of 64 shots (-8) on the picturesque Pezula course in almost perfect weather conditions to close the first day of the season’s final VOG battle in the lead.
“I was definitely lucky in terms of the weather. For the first ten holes there wasn’t even a breeze. Towards the end the wind was very light, but it didn’t make things difficult,” Harvey said afterwards.
The leader had another bit of luck on the 17th hole where he scored an eagle 2 when his fairway bounced right and the ball ended up a few meters from the tin.
“In Wednesday’s Pro-Am I hit the head of my 2-iron on the 17th.
“I had it fixed and when I stood on the podium today (Thursday), I just hoped the same thing wouldn’t happen again.
“My fairway landed short to the right of the green, but a lucky bounce to the left sent the ball rolling onto the green.
“It landed a few meters from the can and I was able to use the luck to my advantage and rolled the putt in for an eagle,” Harvey explained afterwards.
He also believes his knowledge of the Pezula course will benefit him this week.
“I lived in George for a while and used to play on Pezula. I know where all the potholes are on the course,” says Harvey.
Neil Schietekat (65) is second after the first day’s play. He recorded no fewer than six birdies over his second nine holes to move within striking distance of Harvey.
Oliver Bekker and Rupert Kaminski both played 66 and occupy joint third place at -6, with Jake Roos and Hayden Griffiths on 67 the next names at the top of the leaderboard.
The women compete with the men this week for the same prize money.
Tara Griebenow sets the pace on 68 (-4). She is followed by Brittney-Fay Berger and Zethu Myeki at 71 and Cara Gorlei at 72.
*In the American PGA Series’ World Wide Technology Championship in Mexico, the Aussie Cameron Percy sets the pace with two shots after a brilliant score of 62 (-10) in the first round.
The tournament is played on the El Cardonal course in Los Cabos and is the first course designed by the legendary Tiger Woods to host a PGA tournament.
The 49-year-old Percy is being chased by the foursome of Camilo Villegas, Michael Kim, Nate Lashley and Tano Goya, who all recorded scores of 64.
Erik van Rooyen (68) displayed the best of the SA players in the field, with MJ Daffue (69) firmly placed in his battle to secure his player card for next year.
*In Japan in the LPGA Series’ Toto Championship in Omitama, South Africa’s Paula Reto is 12 strokes behind the leaders after two rounds.
Reto struggled on Friday morning and recorded a score of 73 (+1) after playing a decent 69 (-3) on day one.
Reto struggled with her groundstrokes on Thursday and on Friday this part of her game was almost as poor.
She has only been able to hit 14 out of 28 fairways so far, which is not good.
The Japanese stars Nasa Hataoka and Shiho Kuwaki set the pace at -14.