“I’m enjoying being back in contention,” said Buys. “It’s been a difficult year and I’m glad to see my name back up there. You have to learn through these things. I haven’t been on the leaderboard for a while and it’s always good to have these experiences.”
The Johannesburger was quick off the mark from his start at the 10th hole of Lost City Golf Club and made five birdies on his front nine to turn in 31.
He was on song and birdied the fourth and sixth to reach seven-under-par for the day, but a bogey at the last gave a blemish to his card. Despite the drop he made the clubhouse in six-under and was one of 21 players to break par during the first round.
“The putts just fell and it really gets your confidence back up when you play like that. I was hitting it pretty close and not making mistakes, which helps you to stay calm and score when you have the chance,” he said.
Thunderstorms forced a suspension in play at 8.35am, but the heavy rains from the storm made the course open for scoring. Buys was able to take advantage and he’ll look to do the same in the following two rounds.
“The course is in pretty good nick and played a bit better after we had that rain. I got quite tense when I saw my name of the leaderboard, because it’s been a while. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, so we’ll wait to see what comes in the third round,” he said.
Dean Burmester led the morning field with a bogey-free round of 65 that included two birdies in his final three holes. The 25-year-old was confident after his hot start to the week.
“I played nicely today and made a few putts, which always helps. I hit the ball so great and now it’s a matter of solidifying what I did today,” he said.