“I started off this morning with no expectations, but I grew up in the Cape, so I’m kind-of used to this. It’s second nature to me and I think I’ve got a little bit of an edge over the Joburg guys,” he said.
The 29-year-old has his brother, Jandri, as his caddy for the tournament and it helped him to relax. He shrugged off a few inevitable mistakes and shot 34 on his second nine to secure a one-shot lead.
“My brother is on the bag, my family is here and we are staying with good friends, so it’s all a lekker vibe. As a junior I played here often – we had a lot of events here like Boland Opens, which all helps you to trust yourself in these conditions,” said the 18-hole leader.
Blustery conditions made things tricky on the 6359-metre course, but Ferreira knew how to deal with the challenge. He punctuated the round with four birdies, while an eagle at the fourth hole was the highlight of the day.
“I didn’t expect that eagle. I three-putted the previous hole and then on the next my putt just went in, which was great. I hit an approach from 176 yards and the putt was 25 feet,” he said.
The pressure will mount over the coming two days, but for the time being Ferreira is enjoying the lead.
“It’s a pretty nice way to start off and I’m in a good space, so I’ll just see what happens. I think I began this year pushing to do well, and now that I’m less worried I’m leading the tournament. It’s a crazy game,” he said.
The morning runner-up was Derik Ferreira, who shot a two-under-par 70 that included a double-bogey at the 17th. Andrew McLardy and Lyle Rowe shared third on one-under, while Keenan Davidse and Chris Swanepoel made the clubhouse in a share of fifth on level-par.