Ben Eccles of Australia fired a nine-under-par 64 on The Links at Fancourt on Friday that included eight birdies and a par on his back-nine, to leave him right in contention going into the weekend at the Dimension Data Pro-Am.
Eccles would have matched Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts’ 2012 course record, achieved in the first round of the Volvo Golf Champions. However, with placing in effect during the tournament, that chance fell away.
“I’ve been hitting the ball really well. Today everything just went really well. I finished with seven birdies in a row and you know I’m pretty thrilled about it,” said Eccles.
The 168-man field of professionals play one round on each of Outeniqua, Montagu and The Links at Fancourt, ahead of the cut to the top 65 players and ties after three rounds, and the top 25 pro-am teams.
Eccles said playing at an event like the Dimension Data Pro-Am is special and he’s loving the off-course events as well as playing with the amateurs.
“It’s great to be down here. It’s a great event,” he said. “Playing with the amateurs, it keeps it nice and relaxed. I really like the format and the functions are great too.”
At 11-under-par for the tournament, Eccles has certainly put himself into a strong position for the weekend and he is looking forward to the challenge. He said, “It’s what I wanted to do with the calm conditions this morning. Scoring is really good so you’ve just got to try and keep the pedal down and get those birdies.”