A new putter picked up two weeks ago and a sensational finish saw Theunis Spangenberg finish with a two shot lead after the first round of the Africom Zimbabwe Open.
A quiet back nine of three-under par with three birdies and no bogeys set the foundation for Spangenberg, who then told himself that the front nine was the scoring nine especially on the closing four holes of the Royal Harare Golf Club layout.
His predictions were certainly correct as he added another birdie at the par-five third hole before reeling off four consecutive birdies to close his round, signing off with an eight-under par 64.
ÂI knew I could finish well because six, seven, eight, and nine are all birdie holes,Â he said. ÂAnd I did exactly that, so I will take sixty-four with twenty-four putts.Â
Spangenberg attributed his good putting to a new putter which he picked up during the Joburg Open and it really worked for him earning him his biggest paycheque to date when he finished in a tie for 49th. The putter worked again for him today.
ÂI think itÂs just a matter of confidence and I had that confidence on the greens today,Â he said.
The afternoon rounds certainly proved more fruitful for the professionals as two more players, Morne Buys and Omar Sandys, finished in a tie with morning leader Neil Cheetham on six-under par.
Deane Pappas, Darryn Lloyd, and 2010 Rookie of the year Anthony Michael all finished on five-under par joining Martin Maritz in a tie for fifth with defending champion Jbè Kruger a further shot behind and looking in dangerous form once more.
The best finishing Zimbabwean of the day was 64-year old Tony Johnstone, winner of the event in 1993. He brought a smile to every spectators face when he came home in spectacular style with three birdies and an eagle in the last four holes of his round to finish on three-under par.
Better still, his eagle came on the par-four seventh hole where he holed out his second shot from the fairway which he was extremely happy with after finding the course a bit longer than what he is used to on the European Seniors Tour.
81 players are currently sitting on one-over par and better with the top 65 and ties making the cut after tomorrowÂs second round.