Groenewald keeps bogeys at bay in Nashua Challenge

Vaughn Groenewald made just a single bogey on Thursday as he took the early first round lead on the R500,000 Nashua Golf Challenge being played on the 7,162-metre Gary Player Country Club.

He carded a three-under-par 69 and held an advantage of a single stroke over a group of five players, including 2009 champion Doug McGuigan.

“Gary Player Country Club is not the easiest course,” said Groenewald, “and you have to hit is straight and long.”

With a touch of luck, that’s precisely what he did, and made four birdies which offset his dropped shot on the lengthy 206-metre par-three seventh.

“On the third hole, I actually got lucky,” he said, “because I hit it left and it was going straight in the bush, but it hit a Nashua signboard and just stopped.”

He parred that hole, and picked up birdies on four and six to add to hte up-and-down for birdie he made on two to turn in two-under 34.

He made birdie on the 10th, and then came home with eight successive pars. “I tensed up a bit towards the end, but if you make a par on any hole on this course, I think it’s good,” he said.

With McGuigan on two-under were Theunis Spangenberg, Trevor Fisher Jnr, Adilson Da Silva and rookie Dean O’Riley.

Michael Scholz, Chris Swanepoel and Ryan Tipping were a further stroke back on one-under 71.

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