The first event in the Sunshine Big Easy Tour got underway at Crown Mines Golf Club on Thursday as 80 players teed off in a series aimed at developing players for higher honours.
The early leaders on three-under-par 69 were Lyle Rowe and Adrian Ford around the 6,837-metre par-72 layout set in the shadown of the stadium which hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup final.
Ford and Rowe are both experienced Sunshine Tour campaigners, taking the opportunity to hone their games in order to be more successful performers on the main tour, but there were plenty of rookies in the field, eager to get tournament play under their belts outside the cauldron of main tour events for which they would ordinarily have had to try and qualify.
In the field was the Sunshine Tour’s leading rookie, Allan Versfeld, and, on the opposite end of the age scale, 60-year-old John Mashego was out on the fairways, arrowing a pin-point approach in to the ninth for a birdie, grumbling all the while about how slowly his young playing partners were.
Ford and Rowe led from Ryan Cairns, Tsietsi Chabangu, Patrick Spindler and Irvin Mazibuko, who were all on two-under-par 70.