Andrew sublime in Swaziland

On Friday Andrew Georgiou played spectacular golf at Royal Swazi Golf Club, racing through the back nine in 29 strokes to take an early share of the Lombard Insurance Classic lead.

“I felt great. I actually haven’t felt this good on the golf course for a long time, so I’m really starting to feel comfortable out there. Now it feels like every time I tee it up I’m going to give it a good chance,” he said.

The 26-year-old made his way round in 65 blows, reaching the clubhouse at seven-under-par and taking an early share of the lead alongside Jean Hugo.

Georgiou’s back nine was truly superb – he topped off five birdies with an eagle at the 17th. “We started the back and I made birdie on 10, then 11 birdie, 12 birdie – three in a row. From there it just kept flowing – I was making putts, and then I hit it close enough to have a three-foot eagle putt on 17. I was feeling good, because I had just made a good putt for birdie on 16, so I smashed my drive and then had a six-iron in. I hit it to three feet and made the putt,” he said.

The Erinvale Golf Club professional earned a spot at The Open Championship after finishing in the top three at International Final Qualifying Africa. He has since had golf’s oldest major on his mind, and that has been keeping him focused throughout his season.

“It’s weird, because The Open hangs on your shoulder. All of these events that I’m playing now seem a little bit less important than that. For some reason that’s making me play well here, because I’m not overstressing myself – I’m just playing for a bigger purpose,” he said.

Hugo took three victories on the Sunshine Tour last year, but has been quieter this season, with his best result being a share of fifth at the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open. He has been working hard on his game, and reaped the rewards with his opening 65.

“I played well today, and I’ll take it – I haven’t played well over this course for a few years now. I’ve worked hard over the last few weeks, so I’m looking forward to the rest of the tournament.

“It feels like my game is coming right, and we have a couple of tournaments coming up. It’s time to knuckle down, and I’ve been working over the last few weeks. It’s been a slower start to my season, but I think it’s getting there. It’s just a frame of mind, and I’m trying to focus on the good stuff,” he said.

Georgiou was pleased with his consistent good form, and was keen to keep the run going into the weekend. “Tomorrow we have the same pairings, and that means the golf shouldn’t change. I want to go out there and play the same way I did today! We’ve got two rounds to go, and I’m feeling confident,” he said.

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