Basson stays steady in Arabella wind

The wind started to spoil scores on Wednesday at Arabella Golf Course as Christiaan Basson kept things together to take a share of the first round lead in the R540,000 Vodacom Origins of Golf event being played there.

He carded a two-under-par 70 to share a one-stroke advantage over the rest of the field with Divan van den Heever, and there was a group of five players on one-under-par 71.

“I was playing well for the first 11 holes, and then things didn’t go that well,” said Basson.

He reached the 11th at three-under-par, and then he bogeyed the 12th, the 16th and the 18th with birdies on 13 and 17 to slip back to two-under.

“Those are tough finishing holes,” agreed Van den Heever, who actually managed to hold things together as the wind picked up.

His only blemish came on the 399-metre sixth, where he made a double-bogey six.

Both he and Basson agreed they would have gladly accepted two-under-par had they been offered that score before they started their round.

Merrick Bremner was living proof of how difficult the 16th, 17th and 18th could be: His round was looking likely to lead comfortably as he reached the 15th in four-under-par.

But three consecutive bogeys to finish saw him slip back to one-under for the opening round, together with rookie Divan Gerber, Bennie van der Merwe and veterans Warren Abery and Vaughn Groenewald.

Behind them, Chris Swanepoel, Oliver Bekker, David Hewan and Thabang Simon held things together at level-par.

Jean Hugo, the man who won the corresponding event at Stellenbosch in last year’s series, struggled his way to two-over-par 74 – a score which may be good enough to stay in contention as the afternoon field struggled with the wind.

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