Karmis goes three clear in early Simola action

Peter Karmis knows what it takes to go low, and he did enough on Wednesday to fire an opening seven-under-par 65 to take the early round one lead of the Vodacom Origins of Golf at Simola Golf Estate.

He held a three-stroke advantage over Albert Pistorius on the 6,401-metre layout and he was four shots clear of playing partner Alex Haindl in the early stages of the R540,000 54-hole event.

“I putted well today,” said Karmis, who is back in South Africa during a brief lull in action on the Asian Tour where he has been campaigning. “I putted awfully last week in Asia, so I changed my putter and it felt a lot better.”

Karmis, who has scored the only 59 on the Sunshine Tour, put together a flawless round without a single dropped shot as all the players around him battled to keep bogeys off their cards.

He started his round on the back nine and immediately birdied the 10th. He picked up two more on the 15th and 17th, and then had a purple patch after he turned as he made three in a row on one, two and three.

“I’m not sure if the birdie on two should count,” he laughed – the tee has been placed so far forward on the 338-metre par-four because the ground where the tee shots would normally land is so wet that balls would easily be lost while plugging. “I got it on the green with an iron,” said Karmis.

Things went a little quiet on him after that as he made four pars in a row, but he picked up one more birdie on the eighth.

“The course is in great shape,” said Karmis. “It is very wet, but the fairways and greens are in really good condition.”

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