It all started feeling good again for Tjaart van der Walt in the opening round of the Worldwide Holding Selangor Masters at Kota Permai Golf and Country Club in Singapore.
He carded nines of 32 and 33 for a seven-under-par 65 to trail FinlandÂs Joonas Granberg by three strokes after the rookie carded a course-record-breaking 10-under-par 62.
ÂIÂve had four wrist surgeries and one elbow surgery,Â said Van der Walt. ÂFor me itÂs a daily rehab. I try to keep the wrist and elbow strong.Â
In addition to making sure all is well with the Âdaily rehabÂ, Van der Walt tinkered with his putting, and that gave him the breakthrough.
ÂI worked with my coach in the UK for several weeks and we worked on a few things and I kind of stuck with that,Â he said.
ÂIÂve not been putting well all year. IÂve been working hard on all aspects of the game and finally I managed to make a few putts. I didnÂt drive it as well as I would have wanted to but I managed to make a few putts.Â
Granberg started his round with a bang, going eagle-birdie on 10 and 11 as he set off from the 10th. He turned in 29, but then dropped a shot on two, to go with his four birdies on his second nine.
Jaco Ahlers was the next best of the South Africans in the tournament with his two-under-par 70.
James Kamte and JbeÂ Kruger each carded a one-over 73, and Peter Karmis a 76.
Sunshine Tour veteran Adilson Da Silva of Brazil joined Kamte and Kruger on one-over 73.
For Van der Walt, the anticipation heÂs feeling for the next three rounds is tempered by recognition that he has to deal with difficulties: ÂItÂs never not any pain. I play through it. IÂm just fortunate to be out here,Â he said.