21st September 2017 | Sunshine Tour
Early bird Surry leads at St Francis Links
England’s Steve Surry got a little carried away with his birdie putt on the final hole in the first round on Thursday of the Vodacom Origins of Golf event at St Francis Links, but he still carded an eight-under-par 64 to lead.
He made 10 birdies and two bogeys to take a one-stroke edge into the second round over Hennie du Plessis in the R750,000 event over 54 holes. Surry was looking for his 11th birdie on the 18th, but he ended up making bogey.
“I got a bit excited about trying to get to 10-under, and I hit my first putt four feet by,” he said. “I just missed the one coming back, which was a bit of a shame, but it was a good round of golf.”
Surry, who plays out of Cumberwell Park in Wiltshire, is a regular on the Sunshine Tour, and has a best finish of a share of second in the 2015 Lion of Africa Cape Town Open.
“It’s my second week back on the Sunshine Tour,” he said. “Having a couple of weeks at the coast for me to start with is good, because it suits my game a bit more. I did okay last week when I finished in a share of 15th, so it would be nice to have another good week this week.
“I was just quite solid today, really. I didn’t hit many bad shots and holed a few putts. It was just one of those days where everything went well.”
Du Plessis in second also had two bogeys on his card, and he was thrilled with his round. “I knew a low score was out there, so I just attacked the flags,” he said. “I played the par-fives brilliantly. Where I couldn’t get there, I laid up to perfect yardage and knocked it close. I made a lot of good birdies on the par-fives.”
A further shot back in a share of third were JC Ritchie and Alex Haindl. Ritchie finished in a hurry with six consecutive birdies after turning in level par with two birdies and two bogeys. Haindl, on the other hand, was flawless, making three birdies on each nine.
For Surry, it was about making the best of his early start. “My thoughts when I saw the early tee time? I’m not a fan of getting up early. All the lads give me a bit of stick when I get an early tee time,” he said.
“It was a great start. It was a little bit blowy this morning, and the weather got better throughout the day. I got a bit of momentum going early, then bogeyed nine. I had a few birdies on the back nine, and bogeyed the last.”
He’ll be happy with his 11am in the second round.