Lombard relying on local knowledge in NGC debut

Zander Lombard (Getty Images)
Zander Lombard (Getty Images)

Sun City - SA golfer Zander Lombard admitted that his local knowledge had helped him to a good start in the opening round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge on Thursday.

Lombard recorded a 4-under 68 as he sits T4, trailing leader and fellow countryman Louis Oosthuizen by five shots. 

Despite only dropping a single shot on the 15th, Lombard used his expertise from playing on the Sunshine Tour to assert himself near the top of the leaderboard at Sun City.

"I've played so many tournament rounds and social rounds around this golf course," Lombard told Sport24.

"I think local knowledge around this tricky course really helps especially when it comes to wind direction, which comes off the valleys."

Lombard revealed that he'd be eyeing a Top 10 finish and hopes that he continues with his form for the next three days.

"I'm in a good position heading into the next day, I'm not going to force it and just let it happen," said the 24-year-old.

"The goal is Top 8 or thereabout, I'm just going to play my game and see where it gets me. Hopefully I can go better the next three days."

It is the first time at "Africa's Major" for Lombard and he explained how unreal it had been to tee off at the Gary Player Country Club.

"It's been amazing, the endless support has been unreal," said Lombard.

"The home supporters are the reason why we play this game, we are entertainers so it was amazing out there. It's great being here and it's a lovely atmosphere."

Lombard is 76th on the Race to Dubai Rankings and needs to finish in the Top 3 in Sun City to see him qualify for the European Tour finale, the DP World Tour Championship.

The Top 50 golfers on the Race to Dubai rankings will progress through to Dubai next week.

Lombard gets his second round underway alongside four-time major champion Ernie Els and defending champion Lee Westwood at 10:39 on Friday.

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