Vaughn rides wind to four-under opener at Wild Coast

Vaughn Groenewald liked what he saw at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club on Wednesday as he took the early round one lead of the R540,000 Vodacom Origins of Golf event there.

“I like playing in the wind,” said the 36-year-old from Ermelo after he carded a four-under-par 66 on the 5,807-metre par-70 layout.

“I like this course anyway – I can see the shots I want to play and the ball seems to go there,” he said. “And I like to try and ride the ball on the wind to my targets, rather than just hitting it straight.”

He started his round on the 10th tee and birdied his first hole, before reeling off six consecutive pars.

He made birdies on 17 and 18 as he made the turn in three-under-par 32, and then made his only bogey of the day on one. On a day when all around him were making more than just the one error, two more birdies on three and four set him up for the three-stroke lead he held over Neil Cheetham and Shaun Norris.

Groenewald pulled off his two professional victories in 2006: His first was in the Vodacom Origins of Golf event in Pretoria when he had to qualify for the tournament and went on to win it with his 11-under-par 54-hole total.

His second was in the Platinum Classic five months later in October, where he carded a 14-under-par total over the three rounds.

He has been looking threatening for most of the winter season on the Sunshine Tour: “I have been playing well – hitting it well and putting well too – and I really do feel as if a win is just around the corner,” he said.

A further stroke behind Cheetham and Norris after the morning field had finished were Theunis Spangenberg and Christiaan Basson on level-par 70.

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