Keith Horne finished off a seven-under-par 65 on Thursday to take a belated lead in the first round of the R600,000 tournament in the Vodacom Origins of Golf series presented by Samsung at Pezula Estate and Spa.
With the opening round starting late because of heavy morning mists, some players had to return on the second day of the 54-hole event to complete the first round, and Horne just missed an eagle putt on his last hole and edged one clear of a group of five players on six-under-par 66.
“Yesterday after the long wait, it was nice to get off to a good start,” said Horne, who made four birdies in a row from the 12th to the 15th after getting his round underway on the 10th. Two more birdies after the turn on three and four were followed by a bogey on five, but he closed with birdies on eight and nine to go into the lead.
“I had a lot of good shots,” he said. “I drove the ball really well and only missed one fairway and even on that hole, I made a birdie. I think keeping myself in play the whole round was the key. The greens were holding quite well, so if you do hit a good shot you can get it close to the flag. I kept on giving myself chances, and I made a few.”
The day ahead for the second round was not necessarily going to be as easy. Horne had to have both greens squeegeed ahead of his putts on eight and nine in the first round, and there was more rain in the air. “There are a lot of puddles already out there,” he said. “It does make things a little bit difficult, but they’re still rolling pretty well. They’ll be a little bit slower and you’re going to have to watch out for puddles.
“I used to worry about what the weather did, but I’m a little too old to worry about unimportant stuff like that,” he added.