Manzini – Jaco van Zyl (pictured) took the first round clubhouse lead on Wednesday in the Samsung Royal Swazi Sun Open being played on the par-72 Royal Swazi Spa Country Club course.
In the Modified Stableford format of the competition, his seven birdies and not a single dropped shot gave him 14 points, one clear of Doug McGuigan.
Players earn eight points for an albatross, five for an eagle, and two for a birdie. Pars count for nothing, but one point is deducted per bogey and three for a double bogey or worse.
Despite such a good round, Van Zyl felt he left a lot of points on the course: “I had two eagle putts which I missed, and another makeable birdie putt. So it could have been even better,” he said.
McGuigan went about getting his 13 points by putting well: “I didn’t miss anything inside four feet, and that was the difference. You just have to make sure you get it close here, and you can score well,” he said.
Zimbabwe’s TC Charamba was in third on 12 points, while defending champion Jean Hugo was on 10 together with Darryn Lloyd and Michiel Bothma.
South African Open women’s champion Tandi Cunningham had a bad start: She got a double bogey on her opening hole, and followed it with two more bogeys. She finished her round with -8.
“Everybody has a bad day; I just didn’t want to have a bad day this week at this tournament,” she said.
Modified Stableford Scores (RSA unless specified):
14 - Jaco Van Zyl
13 - Doug McGuigan
12 - TC Charamba (ZIM)
10 - Darryn Lloyd, Jean Hugo, Michiel Bothma
9 - Desvonde Botes, Louis Moolman, Ryan Cairns (ZIM)
8 - Darren Fichardt, Merrick Bremner
7 - Alain Norris, Ross Wellington, Warren Abery
6 - Oliver Bekker, Eugen Marugi
5 - Christiaan Basson, Adilson da Silva (BRA)
4 - Josh Cunliffe, Andre Cruse
3 - Reggie Adams, Omar Sandys, Albert Pistorius, David Hewan, Thabang Simon
2 - Wallie Coetsee
1 - Divan van den Heever, Bradford Vaughan
0 - Steve van Vuuren, Hendrik Buhrmann
-1 - Prinavin Nelson, Stuart Clark (WAL)
-2 - Rossouw Loubser
-3 - Brandon Pieters
-5 - Nic Henning
-8 - Tandi Cunningham
* Source - Sunshine Tour