Sigh of relief for Thabo

After a nervous start, a relieved Thabo Maseko signed for 70 for round one of Vusi Ngubeni Qualifying School as 109 took their shot at the 10 Sunshine Tour cards on offer.

“I was nervous this morning – it was a new experience and I didn’t know what to expect. Even though I have been hitting it a long way I decided to stay patient and it worked out,” said the Country Club Johannesburg representative.

On Tuesday he closed his first 18 at Observatory Golf Club at two-under-par to take sole possession of 2nd, one stroke shy of a three-way tie for the lead between Vickesh Singh, Rocky Tlhabanyane and Michael Dreyer.

“I played really solidly today – although I left a few out there – just stick to your gameplan and it will pay off,” he said.

Maseko is no stranger to victory after claiming the Northern Amateur Open when he beat JP Blampied to claim his first amateur title. “When I won last year it built my confidence and I gained a lot of experience. I know I can play, it’s just a matter of taking those steps to the next level,” he said.

On Tuesday he started on the back nine and had a quiet first loop, making birdie at 14 and bogey at 16 to turn at level-par.

His quick off the mark for his second nine, and said: “I got going with birdies at the 1st and 2nd. I went on to birdie 5, but I dropped at 6 and I felt like a left a few more (birdies) out there today.”

The 19-year-old was ready to join the Sunshine Tour in 2012, and added “From when I was a child it was my dream, and I just can’t wait to get out there.”

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