Greene smiles again as he cards 66 at Wild Cast

Daniel Greene pieced together a round which put the smile back on his face as his four-under-par 66 took the early first round lead in the Wild Waves Golf Challenge on Wednesday.

“I’ve worked really hard on my game during the time we were off,” said Greene, “and it seems to be paying off.”

He shared the early lead with Desvonde Botes, with Tyrone Ryan and Omar Sandys one stroke off the pace with their 67s in the first round of the 54-hole R600,000 tournament being played at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club.

He’s had a tough year with six missed cuts interspersed with his two top-10 finishes, and he missed the cut last week again at the Vodacom Origins of Golf event at Selborne Park Golf Club just an hour up the KwaZulu-Natal coast.

“I didn’t trust my swing there,” he said, “but today, I just relaxed and I was hitting it well.”

Well enough to get an eagle on the third to go with his five birdies and three bogeys. “I hit a bad driver on three,” he said, “and then a good three-wood to 10 feet and made the putt.”

Putting has been an issue for Greene, and he’s dabbled with a broomstick putter for a while. But he was back to a conventional putter. “It’s still not perfect – I left quite a few out there that were between five and 10 feet, but it’s getting better,” he said.

Botes has been using the broomstick putter for a long time, and he felt he was rolling it nicely during his four-under-par round.

He made seven birdies and three bogeys on a hot and almost windless day at the coast. “Even with the bogeys, I didn’t do anything really stupid,” he said. “It was just a couple of slightly off shots, and I had my tee shot on one land plumb in a divot.”

For Greene, the rest of the week is about recapturing the form which saw him contending for the Rookie of the Year title, and saw him so close to a maiden victory in Port Elizabeth.

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