“I was very happy with my round today. I stumbled a little bit, but I made a lot of putts and hit some good shots. I also hit some errant ones, but I managed those bad shots well,” he said.
The Capetonian raced through his second nine in 31 strokes, which included a run of four birdies in five holes, and set out a two shot advantage over Colin Nel and Attie Schwartzel.
“On the front nine, which was my second nine, I hit some nice iron shots and made a couple of putts,” said Basson. “On the par-five third I hit it over the green, but made a good chip and putt for birdie. The other birdies came from all around solid golf.”
The greens of Royal Harare are famous for being pure and they ran true on Thursday. Basson, who averaged 1.78 putts per green in regulation last year, made the most of it.
“It’s only your own fault if you miss a putt here – the greens are great. If you can keep gaining a couple each day and moving in the right direction then you’ll be in with a shout. The total is never too low here and it comes down to playing four good rounds,” he said.
The three-time Sunshine Tour winner was pleased to get the tournament off to a good start, but he was very aware that 54 holes remain before prizegiving.
“My game suits the course, because you have to be straight off the tee. At the moment it feels like things are turning for the better, so I’m quite excited to see how the week plays out,” he said.