Home soil helps Jean in Tshwane

Jean Hugo’s experience at The Els Club Copperleaf helped him to an opening 67 for round one of the inaugural Tshwan Open, and by the end of Thursday shared third.

“We play here quite often. I don’t normally play off the back tees, so it’s a new experience! Some of the tees are up and so they gave us a bit of a break there. All in all it’s a great test.

“I think you need to know on this course. You have to plan your way around every course, and this one is no difference. Home ground advantage does play a part, but you still need to play the shots,” he said.

The 37-year-old has 13 tournaments to his name, so it was no surprise when he clocked up four birdies and an eagle during the first round in Tshwane.

“The course is quite wide off the tee and there is emphasis on the second shots. The greens are undulating, so you can find yourself with some difficult putts out there. There are some good holes out there and you have to stick by your strategy – if you knuckle down on the tough ones you can score well,” he said.

Hugo local knowledge gives him an edge over the European Tour players in contention this week, but there are still three rounds to come and plenty of golf to play.

“The guys from overseas can’t wait to come here and play these courses in this weather. We’re very privileged to have six events in this country and our tour has become really strong. We’ve got a lot of young guys that are performing week in and week out worldwide, so we are very proud of what has been achieved. That’s what spectators want: world-class golf,” he said.

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