17th October 2017 | Sunshine Tour
Calm Hess leads by a shot at Observatory
Jacquin Hess says he had to remain calm on his way to posting a flawless four-under-par 68 opening round of the Big Easy Tour Championship at Observatory Golf Club and take a one-shot lead in windy conditions on Tuesday.
“Today I just came out and said ‘OK, don’t put pressure on yourself’, because that’s what I have been doing the last couple of events,” Hess said after his round. “I’m having my best season, so I’m just trying to improve so I thought, let’s go calm. No emotions and just keep level-headed.”
Hess made his gains on the front nine where he made four birdies, however, he seemed to be playing cautiously on the back nine where he made no birdies and dropped no shots. And by this time, the wind had started swirling around and threatening to put off even the best ball-hitters.
“I’m lucky to know the course,” he said. “I have played here a couple of times, the course is in great nick. Luckily I’m from the Western Cape so I know the wind. Robertson, we get a lot of wind there but not like this. Here, it’s swirling around but I’m happy with the score, no bogeys there.”
Close behind Hess lurks the duo of Coert Groenewald and Jeff Inglis who both signed for three-under 69s to take second place. “I’m really happy with the 69,” Groenewald admitted. “I’m feeling a bit under the weather because I have been sick but other than that I feel pretty confident.”
Sharing fourth after round one are Bryn Flanagan and Greg Bentley, both of whom signed for two-under-par 70 opening rounds. Botswana’s Stuart Smith, Drikus van der Walt and Omar Sandys take up the sixth spot on the leaderboard after they all shot one-under 71. Shooting level-par on opening day at Observatory were Bryce McCabe, Brett Liddle, Anton Haig, Duane Keun, Herman Loubser, Antonio Rosado and King’s Cup winner, Bryandrew Roelofsz.
With things tight as they are after round one in Johannesburg, the second round will be interesting to watch as all players will want to forge a gap between themselves and their competitors in this 54-hole final event.