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.
ÂGary Player Country Club is not the easiest course,Â said Groenewald, Âand you have to hit is straight and long.Â
With a touch of luck, thatÂs precisely what he did, and made four birdies which offset his dropped shot on the lengthy 206-metre par-three seventh.
ÂOn the third hole, I actually got lucky,Â he said, Âbecause I hit it left and it was going straight in the bush, but it hit a Nashua signboard and just stopped.Â
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. ÂI tensed up a bit towards the end, but if you make a par on any hole on this course, I think itÂs good,Â he said.
With McGuigan on two-under were Theunis Spangenberg, Trevor Fisher Jnr, Adilson Da Silva and rookie Dean OÂRiley.
Michael Scholz, Chris Swanepoel and Ryan Tipping were a further stroke back on one-under 71.