Jake Redman started the BMG Classic with a Thursday 65 at Glendower Golf Club, putting himself in pole position for his first big break.
ÂAlways feels good to get off to a good start. Other than two three-putts everything went well today. ItÂs early days, but I got off a very nice start and all round hit the ball good, so IÂm very happy,Â he said.
The 25-year-old overcame blustery conditions and reached the clubhouse at seven-under-par, one stroke clear of Jaco Ahlers. And he did it at a track which has hosted the SA Open three times.
ÂItÂs a fairly long course, and itÂs a really good course,Â said Redman. ÂYou have to keep your ball below the hole on the greens and find fairways. If you set yourself up from the fairway on this golf course you can make a lot of birdies.Â
After starting on the back he quickly moved into contention, and by the time he turned at five-under, Redman was one of three players sharing the lead. He continued to roll the putts in during his second loop, but it was his eagle at the eighth that really put him ahead.
ÂEight is downwind today, so you just have to get your drive away there,Â he said. ÂThe pin was tucked back left, so it was a tricky flag, but I made a really good eagle there. I hit a good drive and then a wedge to about 12 foot and made the putt.Â
Glendower is a great test of golf, especially when the wind picks up. On Thursday it started blowing, but Redman hails from George and had no trouble managing the tough conditions.
ÂItÂs very gusty, and it gradually picked up during the day. It started blowing on our fourth hole – funnily enough it always seems to blow here at Glendower. I think all of the guys on tour can play in the wind, so coming from the coast doesnÂt give you any special benefit,Â he said.
Ahlers carded 33 on either side of the turn to finish one stroke off the pace. The big man from Centurion set the tone for his round with an eagle at the second and didnÂt look back. He came home at pace, making birdies at 15, 16, and 17 to sign in at six-under.
Desvonde Botes, Andre Cruse and Micky Hough all had successful days, carding 67 to share third at five-under. A further stroke adrift and sharing sixth were Graham van der Merwe and Matthew Carvell.