12th April 2018 | Sunshine Tour
Dingle leads in Lusaka
Unusually persistent winds kept gushing all over in the first round of the Zanaco Zambia Masters held at Lusaka Golf Club, but Wynand Dingle didn’t care much as he shot a solid six-under-par 66 to take the lead in day one of this season-opening event.
The wind picked up quite early in the morning and it was quite evident that the round was going to be a tricky affair. Dingle started well enough, birdieing the 10th, his first hole of the day and following that up with a par. He made a double-bogey on his third hole but that was the last of those for Dingle as he made par on the next hole. An eagle on his fifth was followed by a birdie, a par, a birdie and another par to turn in 32.
“It was not easy out there,” he admitted. “It was windy but I kept it together. Over the last couple of weeks, I worked really hard on my putting and certainly paid well today. I putted nicely and I am very happy with my start. After the rains they had here the rough is up and you have to hit it straight here otherwise you get punished, so my driving was spot on today.”
There’s no doubt that a start like his will bring a welcomed degree of confidence going into the second round, but Dingle has set his sights a bit further than just the next round.
“I think I played nicely the last few tournaments of the last season but I have not been putting well,” he noted, “but, with the way I putted today, I can see that the work is paying off and if I continue like this, I think I will have a good season.”
Lurking behind Dingle and off-pace by a single stroke was Daniel van Tonder. He made a total of seven birdies in round one but lost some gains as he dropped a shot on either nine of the course. He made five birdies and a bogey on the front nine, admitting that the feat was his best in a long time.
“I think I played very well the first nine,” Van Tonder said, “and, I think I went four-under there and I think that’s my best round of the first nine yet. I’m quite happy about that but I played well overall; hitting it well, chipping it well and putting well, so I am happy.”
He noted, however, that despite a solid showing in the opening round of the tournament he finished third in last season, he has a few other things to work on to sharpen his game.
“A few tee shots here and there,” said Van Tonder of what he thought were the aspects of his game in need of some polishing. “I hit a few bad shots today but it’s not that difficult to recover. The rough is up but luckily for me with bigger arms, it’s easier to get out of there,” he quipped.
Stephen Ferreira was also on song on Thursday, making a single bogey en route to a four-under-par 68 first round. He was followed by a dozen other players which included Stefan Engell Andersen of Kenya, last year’s runner-up Jared Harvey, and local hero Madalitso Muthiya on three-under 69.