Defending champion Jake Roos won the R600,000 Nedbank Affinity Cup in 2009, and came back to Lost City Golf Club with a bang when he shot 67 to share the first round lead on Tuesday.
ÂIt was great to start here this morning, to be back and see the 18th, where I won the playoff (in 2009). ItÂs good to be back,Â he said.
A two-time winner on the Sunshine Tour, Roos closed the day at five-under-par and matched Tyrone Mordt and Clinton Whitelaw at the top of the leaderboard.
ÂIt was a solid round Â I hit the ball well and I was putting nicely Â I was in control of the round,Â said Roos.
A bogey at the first would not disrupt the 31-year-oldÂs focus Â he kept it steady through the front nine, carding birdies at the fourth, fifth and seventh to turn at two-under. Of the recovery he said: ÂOnce I birdied four I settled in, and from there I made fairways and greens.Â
Having built a solid rhythm, Roos birdied the 11th and 14th for a move to four-under.ÂSome of the pins are tucked away on the back nine, but itÂs fair. I like the course and the greens are good, so I enjoyed it out there,Â he said.
The defending champion, who finished the tournament at 12-under-par in 2009, made birdie at the 18th to draw level with morning leaders Mordt and Whitelaw.
Mordt, who finished second at the Nashua Masters on Sunday, maintained his strong form to card seven birdies during the round, but drops at the ninth and 10th set him back to five-under.
Whitelaw turned at two-under before carding his first and only bogey of the day at the 10th, but regained the drop with a birdie at the 11th.
He closed out the round well, making birdies at the 15th, 17th and 18th to secure his share of first, one stroke clear of a three-way tie for fourth between Steven Ferreira, Des Terblanche and Grant Veenstra.
It may have been at the Lost City course, but Roos immediately found the same form he displayed two years ago.