Hugo, Kingston lead Di Data in the mist

Jean Hugo and James Kingston took advantage of being drawn on the Outeniqua course at a rainy Fancourt on Thursday to take the early first-round lead in the R3.2-million Dimension Data Pro-Am.

They each carded a five-under-par 67 to take a one-stroke lead over Hennie Otto, with Warren Abery, Thomas Aiken and Garth Mulroy a further stroke back on three-under 69 – all achieved on the Outeniqua course.

Players were battling to complete their rounds as mist descended over the area, and round times were ballooning out as they waited for gaps in the mist to even be able to play a shot.

It’s a tough few days for the field of 160 professionals over the 6,755-metre par-73 Links, 6,312-metre par-72 Outeniqua and 6,714-metre par-72 Montagu.

The players are each paired with an amateur for the first three rounds, and play over each of the courses before a cut is made after the third round to the top 65 professionals and those tying on the score.

There is also a cut for the betterball teams, with the top 25 going through to the final round which will be played on Sunday on the Montagu layout.

Hugo and Kingston took differing routes to their 67s: Hugo dropped a shot on the eighth to rather spoil an opening nine which included five birdies, and then he made a double-bogey 6 on the 421-metre 14th.

But he grabbed back the initiative with closing birdies on 17 and 18.

Kingston, on the other hand, signed for a bogey-free card with an eagle and three birdies to continue the kind of form which saw him finish so fast last week on the European Tour when he came second in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

He produced his eagle on the second hole of the day, reaching the green in two on the 497-metre par-five second.

“The other courses are usually much tougher,” said Hugo, “but Outeniqua played tough today in the consistent rain out there.

“But it was still possible to get a good score out there, if you hit the ball into the right spots off the tees,” he added.

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