Confidence gives Le Roux Zimbabwe lead

Two rounds gave Le Roux Ferreira a newfound confidence on Thursday as he surged his way to a seven-under-par 65 and the first-round lead of the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open.

 

Six birdies, and eagle and just a single bogey around Royal Harare Golf Club saw him one stroke clear of the formidable duo of Jacques Blaauw and Jean Hugo, with a big group of six players a further shot back on five-under-par 67. That group included the leading Zimbabwean, Tongoona Charamba as well as the 2010 Zimbabwe Open champion Jbe’ Kruger.

 

“Since last week, I started to believe more in myself,” he said. “I had a couple of good rounds in the Telkom Business PGA Championship, and I just felt that this week is going to be a good week.”

 

Those good rounds came in the second and third rounds of South Africa’s second-oldest tournament, during which he carded 69 and 68 and eventually finished in a share of 44th in a tournament which has given him his best-ever finish on the Sunshine Tour – 18th in 2013.

 

“Good scores make you believe in yourself,” he said. “I played here last year, but I didn’t play well. I like it a lot more now. It’s an awesome golf course. It’s one of the best we play all year.”

 

His sentiments echoed those of all the players, and Blaauw, after a bogey on the second, got the hang of it as he made an eagle and five birdies to share second with Hugo. “I had a stupid three-putt from just over the green, but after that I steadied the ship and played nicely,” he said.

 

Joining Charamba and Kruger on five-under par were Daniel Greene, Englishman Jack Harrison, Warren Abery and Alan Michell, with a further six players on four-under-par 68, including Ulrich van den Berg who lost to Titch Moore in a dramatic five-hole play-off in last week’s Telkom Business PGA Championship.

 

Moore had a quiet start after firing a 10-under-par 62 in the previous day’s pro-am. His two-under-par 70 matched defending champion Jake Roos’ score, and they are both still distinctly in contention.

 

Ryan Cairns was the next-best Zimbabwean after Charamba with his one-under-par 71.

 

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