Christiaan Basson couldn’t get his round going properly on Tuesday until he made birdie on his sixth hole, but then he made it count with five more birdies to card a six-under-par 64 in the first round of the Wild Waves Golf Challenge.
He started his round on the 10th of the 5,807-metre par-70 Wild Coast Sun Country Club, and turned in one-under par 34, but he raced home in five-under 30 to join his playing partner in the opening round of the R600,000 tournament, Ruan de Smidt, in a one-stroke lead over four players.
Daniel Greene, Desvonde Botes, Titch Moore and Jeff Inglis all carded 65s, while Wallie Coetsee, Doug McGuigan and Merrick Bremner were a further shot back on four-under 66.
“I had a little bit of a slow start on my front nine with just that one birdie, even with quite a lot of chances,” said Basson, “but on my back nine, things were really going my way. I made one or two nice putts.
“I wasn’t far off in the opening nine – I was just missing them. I wasn’t making bad putts. Sometimes they drop and sometimes they just go over the edges,” he added.
It was a hot morning with very little wind, and Basson and the other early leaders took advantage of the conditions to go low.
“I’ve had mixed fortunes here before,” said Basson. “This is my best round here, but I have had one or two good results as well.”
It’s been a quiet year for the man who won his second title at last year’s Investec Royal Swazi Open. He hasn’t managed a top-10 finish yet, but a decent showing in a share of 15th in last week’s Vodacom Origins of Golf at Langebaan has given him a sense that things could be turning.
“My game’s starting to improve a little bit,” he said. “It’s nice having a good score – it shows that hard work pays off, eventually.”