Keith Horne (@keithhorne1) shook off the effects of snapped tendons in his left ankle on Wednesday to fire a three-under-par 69 to take a share of the early first-round lead of the R600,000 Vodacom Origins of Golf presented by Samsung event at Arabella Golf Club.
Horne also had to make do without a three-wood after his broke on the practice range the day before, and he overcame a shaky start of three bogeys in his first seven holes with a fabulous run of five consecutive birdies towards the end of his round as he shared the lead with playing partner Neil Schietekat.
“I hit driver off the deck,” said Horne of how he coped with the lack of an important club around the tight 6,381-metre Arabella layout. “I haven’t had a three-wood in my bag for four years, so I know how to choke down and chip a driver and that’s all I did today when I needed a three-wood. At one hole, I had three-wood into a par-five and I hit driver off the deck, so I just worked around it a bit today.”
Horne had six birdies in his round – he stopped the rot of his poor start with a birdie on the eighth – and Schietekat had eight, but three bogeys and a double-bogey after he had reached six-under rather spoilt what would have been a great round.
The pair led by one from James Kamte and Tyrone Ferreira, with qualifier Le Roux Ferreira and Alex Haindl a further stroke back on one-under.
For Horne, being in contention is a relief after his injury. “I snapped the tendons in my left ankle three months ago playing soccer with my daughters,” he said.
“I haven’t played much – basically once a week at home – because I’ve had to rest it for a long time. Today was the first time I’ve played without a brace on. So I was happy with my top-five at the Lost City a couple of weeks ago. I’m playing okay with very little practice,” he added.