Sunshine Tour

Nortje goes 6-under for share of Blair Atholl lead

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Golf ball (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
Golf ball (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

Riekus Nortje made seven birdies on Thursday on his way to a six-under-par 66 in the first round of the Sunshine Tour’s Blair Atholl Championship and a share of the lead.

Nortje, whose most recent top-10 finish on the tour, since his only victory in the Mopani Redpath Zambia Open in July 2017, came last month in the Vodacom Origins of Golf event at Mount Edgecombe, dropped just one shot as he finished the day sharing top spot with Rupert Kaminski, who had nine birdies, a bogey and a double-bogey in his 66.

Nortje birdied the first, and dropped a shot with a bogey on the par-four second. But he picked up birdies on the fourth, fifth and eighth to reach halfway in three-under 32. He was flawless on the way home, with birdies on 13, 16 and 18.

Nortje and Kaminski had a one-stroke edge over Heinrich Bruiners, who was bogey-free for his five-under 67. Kyle Barker, who had a hole-in-one on the eighth, was one of six players on four-under in a share of fourth. The others were Jared Harvey, Trevor Fisher Jnr, Chris Cannon of England, Hayden Griffiths and Anton Haig.

Kaminski, who has made just four cuts this season, has a recent top-10 to his credit, when he finished in a share of ninth in August’s Vodacom Origins of Golf event at Sishen.

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