Jacques Blaauw rose into the winners’ circle with three victories over a five-month period last year, which makes his 10 putts on the back nine at Millvale an expected flash of brilliance.
“I sank a really long one on 10, from off the green, so I suppose it doesn't count as a putt. But that was about a 25-footer. The rest of the time, it was really good scrambling,” he said after carding 67 for the first round.
The 28-year-old won the Nedbank Affinity Cup last November, where he shot rounds of 64, 69, 68 to win. That tournament is held at Lost City Golf Course, which also hosts the final two rounds of the 2014 Investec Cup.
The first two rounds are played at Millvale Private Retreat, where Blaauw has set up for a great week with his five-under-par first round. Play ended with Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard in the lead on seven-under.
“Definitely happy with the round and it’s nice to have my game back to where I want it. The weather is great and if you make a couple of putts you’ll score well.
“For us playing South Africans that amount of money is great to see in a local tournament. It’s a chance to change your career, and Investec really puts on a great week for us,” he said.
Strong contenders George Coetzee and Jbe’ Kruger took up third place on four-under, while the dangerous trio of Justin Walters, Trevor Fisher Jnr, and Merrick Bremner shared fifth on three-under.
Blaauw is right in the thick of it with his opening 67. He’s started making waves this week and presents a real threat at the Investec Cup.
“I’m happy with my game, especially because I worked a lot on my short game in the past few weeks. I haven’t played too well over this summer series and I’ve just changed clubs and putter, so hopefully that’s the way forward,” he said.