Ross McGowan rocketed home in 30 strokes at Centurion Country Club on Wednesday for a first-round 64 and a two-stroke lead over the morning field at the Telkom PGA Pro-Am.
ÂNothing goes through your mind, and thatÂs probably the best thing. You just stand there and go for every flag and try to hole the putt when you get there,Â he said.
McGowanÂs playing partners Wynand Dingle and Johan Bekker carded 68 and 66 respectively, but could not catch the Englishman, who finished the first round on eight-under-par.
ÂIt was good,Â said McGowan. ÂI played with a couple of great guys today, and they were schooling me on the front, but I turned it around and birdied six holes coming in.Â
His putter was hotter than the 27-degree weather and the 30-year-old finished the round without a drop on the card. He drained eight putts for birdie for a comfortable two-shot cushion.
ÂHitting two good shots on the 10th steadied me and once I birdied there it gradually got closer. I managed to get the ball rolling nicely and started sinking lots of putts,Â he said.
The round was a great sign for the Dubai local, who is rebuilding his career after injury setbacks. In 2010 he tore triangular fibrocartilage in his forearm and then a ligament in the same location, which resulted in a slip from a career-high of 63rd in the world to his current position of 1034.
ÂIt’s not easy. It’s a bit strange going to Tour School and pre-qualifying for events each week, but it’s all about starting again and working your way up,Â he said.
ÂFirst tournament of the year and itÂs nice to get off to a good start. IÂve still got to get into Joburg Open, so the main goal is a top-five finish here. But if we can lift the trophy at the end of the week then itÂs even better!Â
The conditions were prime for scoring on Wednesday and Johan BekkerÂs 66 earned him a share of second alongside Oliver Bekker and Dawie van der Walt. Four players shared fifth on five-under.