Anthony Michael (@antomichaelgolf) qualified as a Sunshine Tour professional at Vaal de Grace Golf Estate, and his six-under-par 66 on Wednesday in the opening round of the Vodacom Origins of Golf presented by Samsung event there may just herald another new beginning for him.
That score gave him a share of the early lead with Dean Burmester, with Tyrone Ferreira, CJ du Plessis and Wallie Coetsee a stroke back on five-under-par 67 in the R600,000 54-hole tournament.
Michael turned professional in 2010 after the Sunshine Tour Qualifying School at Vaal de Grace and Parys was turned on its head by torrential and persistent rains, and he took advantage of his card by finishing 10th on the 2010 Sunshine Tour Order of Merit – a result largely driven by his share of second in that December’s Alfred Dunhill Championship.
Before his round on Wednesday, which included seven birdies and just a single dropped shot on his third hole, having started on the 10th, he had been having an average season with just two top-10 finishes to his credit as he finds himself at 77th on the 2014 Order of Merit after 15 tournaments.
“I feel as if I’m coming off good form,” he said. “The results haven’t really shown that, so I hope I can finish one off properly.”
And despite his good score, he headed straight for the range after his round to work on his driving. “I struggled with the driver today,” he said. “I missed quite a few fairways – I think I only hit two – but I missed in the right spots. And with the rough as dry as it is, it doesn’t matter if you don’t miss by too much. There has been placing too, which is a great help – if you hit fairways!
“I hit a lot of greens today, which is important out here. And I putted really well today. I don’t think I missed one outside of six feet,” he added.