Dawie takes early lead in BMG Classic

Dawie van der Walt fired a six-under-par 66 on Friday to take the early first-round lead of the R600,000 BMG Classic being played at the Glendower Golf Club.

“The one thing I’ve figured out about golf is you never figure it out,” said the 28-year-old Van der Walt after he posted his opening score following a poor showing in the previous day’s pro-am.

He started his round on the 10th, and had racked up two birdies by the time he reached the 15th. But a bogey five on the 403-metre 16th checked his progress momentarily.

He got the show back on the road with a birdie on 18 and then two more in quick succession on one and two. On his way home, he picked up two more shots with birdies on four and nine and he held the clubhouse lead by a three-stroke margin.

There were four players on three-under-par 69. The group consisted of last week’s winner of the Suncoast Classic Darren Fichardt, European Tour campaigner Shaun Norris, PH McIntyre and rookie Johan Bekker.

It was Van der Walt’s 100th round on the Sunshine Tour in his 30th tournament. “I didn’t know it was 100 rounds, but I’m pretty happy with that score,” he said.

The change for him after his pro-am performance came in his accuracy. “If you can somehow manage to hit these fairways, you can get close to the flags,” he said. “But if you come out of the rough, the greens are a little firm and it makes it a little harder. “So I hit the right fairways on the right holes,” he added.

He managed to get around the 6,914-metre par-72 Glendower layout with just 29 putts. “I had a little three-putt on one of the par-fives,” he said, “but I putted nicely.”

“If you miss a putt out here, it’s your own fault. The greens are awesome. The pace is great. I thought they were going to be a little quicker, but they’re really good,” he added.

He was happy to take his early lead, but conceded it was too early to tell what his opening round meant for the rest of the 54-hole tournament.

“With golf you never know,” he said.

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