Francesco Laporta of Italy finished with a 12-over-par 82 at last week’s Tshwane Open. He followed that with a seven-under-par 65 on Thursday in the opening round of this week’s Dimension Data Pro-Am at Fancourt.
Starting his tournament on the Outeniqua course – the 168-man field of professionals play one round on each of Outeniqua, Montagu and The Links at Fancourt, ahead of the cut to the top 65 players and ties after three rounds – Laporta dropped just a single shot on the last hole, but made eight birdies to end up in a three-way share of the first-round lead.
“After the 82 in the last round at the Tshwane Open, I was really upset with myself,” he said. “But I worked hard for the last four or five days and I went to the tee box this morning and told myself just to do my best and enjoy the day.”
The share of the lead he has with Jaco van Zyl and Brandon Stone is somewhat mitigated by the fact that The Links is a par-73, while the other two courses are each par-72.
But that was not going to spoil his enjoyment of getting his game back on track. “I played very good golf,” he said. “The putter was working well. I only had 23 putts, with just nine on the front nine. I made bogey on the last hole but that’s fine, because I’m there in first spot so I’m very happy.
“The first three or four holes the wind was up, and then the cloud came down and it quietened down. It was just perfect. I enjoyed the day. It was fun playing with Kevin Stone and the two amateurs we played with were great.”