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Barker takes round one lead at Sun City

5th June 2019 | Sunshine Tour

Barker takes round one lead at Sun City

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Barker takes round one lead at Sun City

Kyle Barker carded a near-perfect six-under-par 66 to take to the summit of the leaderboard after the opening round of this year’s Sun City Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club.

Coming into the tournament with zero expectations, by his own admission, and at the back of the 80 he shot during the practice round earlier in the week, Barker needed to pick himself up and did just that on Wednesday.

He was two-under-par and bogey-free on the front nine but then he went on a healthy birdie-run on the homeward stretch, picking up birdies on the 11th, 12th and the par-five 14th, before making his only bogey of the day on the 15th.

“It was an unbelievable day, really,” Barker said after his round. “It was nice to make a few putts. I’m known as a good ball-striker so if I make the putts, then I’m going to have a low score.”

He steadied himself after the dropped shot on the 15th, taking a par on the 16th, before closing his round with back-to-back birdies to take a two-stroke lead going into the second round.

“I am happy with any score under-par on this course,” he said of this challenging golf course. “I’ve been coming here since I was two years old for the Nedbank Golf Challenge and I’ve always dreamed of shooting a low score here but to actually do it feels pretty good.”

Jaco Ahlers signed for a 68 – and admitted that it’s his first score in the sixties on this course –  and shares the second spot on the leaderboard with Jacques de Villiers, veteran Titch Moore and JC Ritchie. A shot further and sixth on the leaderboard, rookie Garrick Higgo continued with his great form, carding a three-under 69 on day one.

David McIntyre, James Allan, Jaco van Zyl, the defending Neil Schietekat, Jacques Blaauw, Toto Thimba, Rhys West and Jason Froneman share the seventh spot after they all shot two-under-par 70 to kick start things in Sun City.

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