Anthony Michael reckons he’s a warm weather player, but he shook off the effects of a persistent drizzle and a chiily wind on Thursday to take the early first round lead of the Lion of Africa Cape Town Open.
He fired a four-under-par 68 to edge one clear of James Kingston, Michael Hollick and Tyrone Mordt. Erik van Rooyen, Wynand Dingle, Allan Versfeld and Andrew Curlewis were a further shot back on two-under 70.
“I seemed to handle the weather conditions well, which was strange,” laughed Anthony. “I prefer the warm weather, but the rain wasn’t too hard today so I didn’t really need the jacket all the time.”
He got his score to five-under when he made birdie on 16, but a dropped shot on the 18th saw him slip back to four-under after the only error of his round.
“With the wind and back pin positions on holes into that wind, it is difficult to go for the flag without the danger of going too long, and that’s what happened to me in 18 – I left myself with a difficult putt over a ridge,” he said.
But he started fast with birdies on the first two holes, and then two more on five and seven to turn in four-under 32. “I rolled the ball really well on the front nine, but I wasn’t hitting it that well off the tees. I made a few good putts – missed a couple of short ones – but in general, a brilliant front nine and then just held it together for the back.”
Michael has had a quiet year, with just two top-10 finishes. The better of those came in the Zambia Sugar Open where he finished in a share of fourth behind winner Adilson Da Silva and a good finish in Cape Town will lift him from his current 72nd position on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit.