Rookie sets the pace at Leopard Creek

2010-12-10 00:00

MALELANE — Defending champion Pablo Martin had a front nine directly attributable to his jetlag in the opening round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship yesterday, but he still managed to be just three off the pace when he was done.

But he rifled his second on to the heart of the green on the 541-yard (495-metre) par-five 18th at Leopard Creek, and had an eagle putt.

In settling for birdie, he finished at three-under 69, not too far off the six-under-par 66 set by rookie Anthony Michael in the morning, which held up through the day for the lead.

“Not bad for a 14-hour flight from New York,” said Martin. “Maybe I’ll try that again.”

He was not the only player who had jetlag to contend with: one shot behind Michael was big Dawie van der Walt, who played in the PGA Tour Q-School Final Stage, which ended in California on Monday.

He atoned for a bogey on the 11th — his second hole of the day — with a burst of four birdies in the next seven holes to turn in three-under 34. Two more birdies in his homeward nine saw him join England’s Robert Rock, Sebastian Buhl of Germany and Dane Marius Thorp on 67.

Leader Michael dropped a shot on the 12th after he had moved to five-under-par through 10. But he pulled that shot back immediately on the 13th, and another for good measure on 14 for his 66.

He’s in second place in the Sunshine Tour’s Rookie of the Year race, a position gained by some good performances in some big tournaments — a share of fourth in the Africom Zimbabwe Open and a tie for ninth in the BMG Classic included.

“I find that I play very well under pressure,” he said by way of explanation. “I’ve always just enjoyed the pressure and I enjoy having people around me.”

One player who didn’t enjoy the round was Open champion Louis Oosthuizen. In a bad day at the office, he carded a four-over-par 76. Two double-bogeys and four bogeys could have been much worse had he not also made four birdies. — O.C.

Scores (RSA unless specified):

66 -Anthony Michael

67 -Robert Rock (ENG), Sebastian Buhl (GER), Dawie Van der Walt, Marius Thorp (NOR)

68 -Alvaro Velasco (ESP), Keith Horne, Rafael Cabrera Bello (ESP), Andrew Georgiou, Klas Eriksson (SWE)


70 -Colin Nel

72 -Daniel Greene.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Tax Compliance Officer

Cape Town
Mass Staffing Projects
R280 000 - R300 000 Per Year

Sales Representative

Cape Town
Pax Staffing Dynamix (Pty) Ltd
R8 000 - R25 000 Per Month

Mobile Developer

Cape Town
Goldman Tech Resourcing
R360 000 - R480 000 Per Year

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.