“I had 26 putts today, and I always try to have less than 30, so it’s a good start this week. It’s not going to happen every day that you shoot seven-under, so we’ll try to build on this going forward,” he said.
A fortnight ago the 39-year-old won the Vodacom Origins of Golf at San Lameer and became a 17-time champion on the Sunshine Tour.
He continued the run of good form in Durban on Wednesday with an opening round of seven-under-par 64, which put him two shots clear of second-placed Titch Moore and Erik van Rooyen.
“A low score was on the cards, because I’ve been playing well for a few weeks now,” said Hugo. “I played the difficult holes very well today and took the birdies when they came.”
The Centurion local started on the 10th and had to overcome an early drop. He got over it in the best way possible – by making a run of three consecutive birdies from the 14th to the 16th.
From there it was plain sailing for the world number 284, who made four birdies on the trot from the third to the sixth before signing for 64.
“I started on 10 today and had a silly bogey on 13, but after that I started playing really well and turned in two-under. I hit a good shot into the third and made a few good putts from there onwards, sinking those six to eight footers that can make all the difference,” he said.
Hugo has laid out a firm foundation at the Sun Sibaya Challenge this week and will be tough to catch if he keeps the birdies coming.
“It’s a long way to go and you have to build on the score without changing your game plan. You try to push on and get to double figures. Every day you aim to improve, and I’m not saying I will play as well tomorrow, but you have to try. There are birdies out there, so I’m looking forward to it,” he said.
Moore was glad to be back on song and looked forward to contending for a 10th Sunshine Tour trophy.
“I managed to hole a few putts today, which is a nice change from the last few months. Jean is flying again, but we’ve got an early start tomorrow and will see how far below par we can get to. I’m looking forward to playing the next two days,” he said.