One day after the year’s final major 65 hopefuls took to the fairways of Irene, all hoping to claim a win on the development tour, which has produced players like Bryce Easton and Dean Burmester.
Gosling was in ‘go mode’ from the start and included a run of four consecutive birdies in his outward nine of 31, which set him up to lead by one shot over Aubrey Barnard.
“Last week I worked with my coach for the first time in a long while, and today it all seemed to click. I went on a four-hole stretch of making birdies, but didn’t know I had made them. I try to put previous holes out of my head and play each shot as it comes,” he said.
The Big Easy Tour aims to give new players a chance to acclimatize to the professional golf circuit in South Africa by enabling them to play competitive tournament rounds.
There are seven regular events on the schedule, with a Tour Championship that caps off the season, and time is running short for those who want to make it to the season finale.
Staying focused is one of the lessons learned on the Big Easy Tour, and Gosling had concentrate after he went low so quickly into the round. The 21-year-old did a decent job and gave back two shots on the second loop, which he accounted for with birdies at the 10th and 17th.
“I think shooting five-under on the first nine got to my head and I became a little tentative with my shots, but the drops I made were silly mistakes that I’ll try to avoid making in future,” said the Johannesburg local.
He reached the clubhouse on five-under-par and one shot clear of the competition.
“This tour is excellent,” he said. “It’s my first year on tour and it’s opened up my eyes to what the big golf is all about. It’s not like amateur golf – it’s high concentration and all the guys are out here to compete. I’ve got a good chance tomorrow, so I’ll just try to keep my cool and play the shots as they come.”
Barnard was part of the first group out and the early bird caught the worm. He shot a four-under-par 668 for sole second, one stroke ahead of a three-way tie for third between Jason Froneman, Desne van den Berg, and Jacques de Villiers.