It’s not often that a golfer will fire a seven-under-par 65 for an opening round and find himself four shots off the pace – but that’s what happened to Jake Redman (in conversation here with playing partner Colin Nel) on Wednesday in the R650,000 Vodacom Origins of Golf Final presented by Samsung at Zebula Golf Estate and Spa.
He didn’t drop a single shot in between his seven birdies as he joined Chris Swanepoel four shots behind the terrific 11-under-par 61 set by Darren Fichardt on the 6,829-metre (7,469-yard) layout in drought-stricken Limpopo Province.
“I got to the ninth green and at that stage I was three-under,” said Redman. “I looked up at the leader board and I saw someone was four-under, and I looked above that and saw that Darren was 12-under through 12. I couldn’t believe it.
“I was really happy to finish at seven-under, but I really wasn’t expecting to be four shots back with that score after the first round. But it was an unbelievable round from Darren today.
“I didn’t do anything outstandingly well. I was pretty solid. If I could say one thing stood out, it was probably my putting. It was very consistent today,” he added.
With the course so dry – the fairways have been particularly hard-hit by the drought and the current heatwave, but the greens are good – the course was always going to be there for the taking by someone who strikes the ball straight and long.
“You can get a few scratchy lies around the greens if you’re not on the fairway,” said Redman. “Being too close to the hole can affect you a little bit with a dodgy lie – you’d rather have a little longer in so you have to factor that in to your strategy. But the greens are good and with the dryness, the course is there for the taking.”
And take it Redman did. He just needed to be four shots better!