Sunshine Tour

Nel impresses, grabs Zebula lead

Colin Nel (Gallo Images)
Colin Nel (Gallo Images)

Bela Bela - Colin Nel says he found something at the range this morning and whatever that was helped him to an impressive eight-under-par 64 opening round of the Vodacom Origins of Golf at Zebula Golf Estate on Thursday.

Starting from the 10th this morning, Nel made two consecutive pars and those were followed by an unwanted bogey on the 12th, his third.

A birdie on the next hole was followed by a par, an eagle and a birdie to turn in 33.

It was on the back nine, however, where he made serious gains. Birdies on his 11th and 12th holes catapulted him up the leaderboard and three more birdies later, and no dropped shot on the homeward nine, Nel's spot at the summit was cemented.

"I am very happy with the round," Nel said about the early lead of this R800 000 tournament.

"I did not really hit it too good yesterday on the Pro-AM. So, this morning I was putting in work at the range and something clicked and it seems it's all come together. I am happy with the result."

The 34-year-old was pleased with his game at the Peter Matkovich-designed course.  

"Well, I hit the tee shots very well and, obviously, I made all the putts I looked at and that is the key thought on any golf course is hitting the tee shot well and making a few putts. Everything just clicked together today and I have been hitting fairways the last few weeks," he said.

"I just needed something to just come together. Also playing with the guys I played with today, Ockie (Strydom) and Combrinck Smit, we had a laugh the whole round. I think that also helped me to relax and just play the game. I am not worried about the score, I am just enjoying it."

Nel is not planning to change anything on his game plan when he tees off for the 54-hole event.

"It is very nice. My favourite saying is 'you cannot win it on the first day, but you can lose it'. So, we are in with a chance, two more days to go. So, we will just try and concentrate on tomorrow and take it from there. I will just copy and paste what I did today."

Neil Schietekat - the 2018 Sun City Challenge winner - finished one shot off the lead while JC Ritchie who is still fresh from last week's win at the Sun Carnival City Challenge, along with Alex Haindl is a further two shots back.

The on-form member of the Gary Player Class, Toto Thimba also made a positive start to this week's event as he shared fifth with Doug McGuigan and Daniel van Tonder on five-under-par 67.


64 - Colin Nel

65 - Neil Schietekat

66 - JC Ritchie, Alex Haindl

67 - Doug McGuigan, Toto Thimba, Daniel van Tonder

68 - Thriston Lawrence, Teboho Sefatsa, Allister de Kock, Jaco Prinsloo, Titch Moore, Jabulane Mabilane

69 - Jean Hugo, David McIntyre, Estiaan Conradie, Garth Mulroy, Andre Nel, Louis Albertse, Pieter Moolman, Jonathan Agren

70 - Duane Keun, Chris Swanepoel, Jake Redman, Victor Lange, Desvonde Botes, Callum Mowat, Erhard Lambrechts, James Kamte, Michael Schutz, Herman Loubser, Mark Williams, Wallie Coetsee, Louis de Jager, Jade Buitendag

71 - Thabang Simon, Philip Eriksson, Rhys West, Jake Roos, Chris Cannon, Tyler Hogarty, Aubrey Beckley, Ruan de Smidt, Breyten Meyer, Combrinck Smit

72 - CJ du Plessis, Luke Jerling, Andrew Curlewis, Zander Lombard, Shaun Norris, Martin Rohwer, JJ Senekal, Michael Hollick, Matt Bright, Hennie Otto, Wynand Dingle, MJ Viljoen, Tyrone Ferreira, Ockie Strydom, Anthony Michael, Jacquin Hess, Fredrik From

73 - Makhetha Mazibuko, Allan Versfeld, Marc Cayeux, Andre De Decker, Hennie du Plessis, Michael Palmer, Ryan Tipping, Jason Smith, James Pennington, Ruan Conradie, Scott Campbell, Musiwalo Nethunzwi, Heinrich Bruiners

74 - Anton Haig, Vaughn Groenewald, Riekus Nortje, Jean-Paul Strydom, Divan van den Heever, Stuart Smith, Desne Van Den Bergh, Kyle McClatchie, Matthew Carvell

75 - Yubin Jung, Wayne Stroebel, Merrick Bremner, Derick Petersen, Jaco Van Zyl, Lyle Rowe

76 - Luke Trocado, Damon Stephenson, Ulrich van den Berg, Rourke van der Spuy, Tyrone Ryan, Jason Viljoen, Dylan Mostert, Gideon van der Vyver, Bennie van der Merwe, Kyle Barker

77 - Roberto Lupini, Jacques P de Villiers, Marthin Scheepers, Theunis Bezuidenhout, Mohit Mediratta

78 - Christiaan Basson

79 - Francois Coetzee

80 - Stefan Engell Andersen, Sipho Bujela, Teaghan Gauche, Basil Wright

81 - Philip Geerts

82 - Keelan Africa

83 - Irvin Mazibuko

88 - Thabo Moraba

loading... Live
RB Leipzig 2
Atlético de Madrid 1
loading... Live
England 0
Pakistan 126/5 (45.4 ov)
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
44% - 5919 votes
11% - 1472 votes
19% - 2528 votes
2% - 309 votes
1% - 123 votes
2% - 305 votes
5% - 659 votes
8% - 1098 votes
3% - 419 votes
Water sports
1% - 120 votes
American sports
1% - 129 votes
3% - 388 votes