Confident McGuigan one off clubhouse lead

Investec Royal Swazi Open: Day 1Doug McGuigan negotiated his way around the Royal Swazi Spa Country Club in superb fashion by carding a bogey-free 15 point stableford score in round one of the Investec Royal Swazi Open.

The modified stableford format sees players earn points for birdies, eagles and albatrosses’, while points will be deducted for bogeys or worse. Pars will see players earn zero points.

The tricky layout is renowned for its hilly fairways and greens and McGuigan said he dealt well with the challenge. “The back-nine is where you can miss putts because of the severity of the slopes and the surrounding areas. It’s nearly like two different golf courses, the front-nine and the back-nine. It always makes Swaziland unique. It’s a golf course that always lives up to its reputation and no one seems to kill it,” he said.

The modified stableford format rewards aggressive play, and McGuigan made a host of birdies and an eagle to accrue his 15 points.  “On the front-nine I made five birdies and no bogeys. On the back nine I made one eagle and eight pars. It was pretty steady,” he explained.

Even though the format rewards aggressive play, when McGuigan was asked whether he changes his game plan he said, “No not really. I’m not a negative player and I’m not a conservative player. You know there are certain shots which you can go for and there are certain shots you don’t want to go for. If you’re aggressive or not, there is a level of aggressiveness and a level of stupidity, and to be aggressive and stupid at the same time is not clever. So, I still believe in ‘par is always a prisoner’. You don’t want the minus one’s and the minus three’s. You want to keep that off the card. For confidence levels you don’t want to be making two or three bogeys in a round either. “

McGuican recently moved to George – one of the Garden Route’s most famed cities – and he says he has been able to play and work hard on his golf in the Western Cape. “I’ve been working hard. I do a lot of work at Ebotse in Joburg and I’ve moved to George and I do a lot of work out at Fancourt now. You know I’ve been putting the effort in and playing a lot of golf. It’s starting to show,” he explained.

With the work McGuigan is putting in on the side, and with progress showing, McGuigan looks as comfortable as he ever has on the course. “If you’re feeling good about your game and feeling confident the you look more relaxed than what you appear,” he said. “It’ll be the same thing tomorrow. Try and hit it close and try make some putts,” he added.



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