Justin Walters carded a four-under-par 68 on Wednesday to take the early first-round lead of the R500,000 Telkom PGA Pro-Am at Centurion Country Club.
He made an eagle, three birdies and one bogey to lead by one from a group of five players consisting of Louis Calitz, Mark Murless, Jean Hugo, Warren Abery and Neil Schietekat.
ÂThe bogey was a bit of a silly one, especially since I was only 70 metres from the pin,Â said Walters, Âbut IÂve been battling with my game going into this week, so IÂm really chuffed with my score.Â
The bogey came on the 13th after a steady start of six consecutive pars. ÂIt was a bit quiet, but then I made eagle on seven, and that got things going for me,Â he said.
His approach to the 537-metre seventh finished up just a tap-in from the hole. ÂI just tried to run one up there. It was a bit of a links-type shot really,Â he said. ÂI hit it in low and it took the right bounces and rolled up the hill to leave me really close for my eagle.Â
Walters won the Investec Royal Swazi Open in May, but has missed three cuts since then, and finished in the top 20 only once when he shared 14th at the Vodacom Origins of Golf event at Arabella.
ÂIt seems like a little bit of everything needs to click in my game,Â he said. ÂA little bit of mental stuff, but my irons are really bad right now. But if I can hit it close, I can make more putts; get a few wedges working, and it should get better.Â
Calitz is riding a wave of new-found confidence after he held an early lead with his opening 68 in last weekÂs Sunshine Tour event at Sishen Golf Club. ÂI believed in myself last week,Â he said. ÂI can play golf.Â
He will be hoping to keep contending in a field that includes defending champion Jaco van Zyl who is looking for a third consecutive victory at this tournament.