Qualifier Spangenberg challenges in Tshwane Open

2016 Tshwane Open: Day 1One of Theunis Spangenberg‘s passions is going hunting in the Northern Cape with fellow golf professional and Sunshine Tour veteran Des Terblanche.

But 32-year-old Spangenberg was hunting birdies – seven of them – in the first round of the R18,5-million Tshwane Open at par-70 Pretoria Country Club on Thursday morning en route to a five-under-par 65 which gave him the clubhouse lead.

It’s been a good week so far for Spangenberg who on Tuesday had to pre-qualify at nearby Woodhill Country Club – where 120 hopefuls were battling it out for just 15 spots in the main Tshwane Open draw. And he did so in style by posting a six-under-par 66 which tied him at the top alongside fellow South Africans Derick Petersen and Divan van den Heever.

“I hit a lot of fairways and was rolling in the putts,” he said of his round, where the one blemish was a double-bogey six at the 10th where a nasty lie following his approach cost him two shots to par.

Spangenberg says he has been practising hard at home in Kathu – where both he and Terblanche live and belong to the superb Kalahari Golf and Hunting Club.

“I’ve been hitting the ball well and the game seems solid so I was confident coming into this week, and didn’t doubt myself both in the qualifier and in today’s first round. Okay, I did drop those two shots at 10 and after initially making a bit of a mess of the 11th I eventually chipped in for par to keep the momentum going,” added the former SA Boys champion who played the two par-35 halves in 31 and 34.

Spangenberg, ranked just 1,073rd in the world, has only had one victory as a professional and that was in the 2011 Zimbabwe Open.


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