19th May 2017 | Sunshine Tour
Zander gets in the mix in Sicily
Sebastian Soderberg and Michael Hoey will take a share of the lead into day two of The Rocco Forte Open – Verdura, Sicily after firing brilliant rounds of 61 at Verdura Golf Club.
Swede Soderberg set the target in the morning as he flirted with a historic 59 with an eagle and eight birdies to get to ten under.
That looked as if it would hold the solo lead but Northern Irishman Hoey had other ideas and made ten birdies to join Soderberg in posting a career-best tournament round.
On a day of low scoring due to calm conditions, South African Zander Lombard was just one shot off the lead, with the resurgent Alvaro Quiros, German Sebastian Heisele and South African Jbe Kruger then at eight under.
Soderberg has a win on the Challenge Tour at last season’s Barclays Kenya Open and made a brilliant start as he searches for a first European Tour win in just his 15th event.
Hoey is a five-time winner and veteran of 284 tournaments and his performance represented an excellent return to form after losing his playing privileges last season.
A birdie-birdie finish catapulted Lombard up the leaderboard after he had earlier made gains on the 15th, 16th, 17th, first, second, fourth and sixth.
What they said:
Zander Lombard (62, -9)
“It was solid. I just didn’t make any mistakes and stayed out of trouble and holed a few putts. The course is fair, if you hit good shots, you’re going to play good. There are some holes that can catch you out but a good player will play good. I just stick to my routines and my gameplan religiously and it worked out for me. I hit a few great shots, I hit a few iffy shots but the way I did I was still in a fine position and made good pars. It was nice to get the momentum going early in the week, it was almost flawless for me. Very happy.”
Jbe Kruger (63, -8)
“It was amazing for all the hard work to pay off. It’s always nice to get a good start like that. I love it, the greens are really good and it’s not really that long. If you hit good shots you’ve got a lot of chances. At the end of the day, the guy who putts the best is probably the guy who is going to win.”