18th October 2018 | Sunshine Tour
Jerling grabs share of first-round lead at Parys
Left-handed Luke Jerling got off to a great start on Thursday as he carded a six-under-par 66 to share the lead with Jonathan Agren of Sweden at the Vodacom Origins of Origins at Parys Golf and Country Estate.
“I played really nicely here today,” Jerling said about his best start in the last four events. “It is very pleasing. I felt like my game has been good the last few months, but I have always got off to a bad first round start and I have just been fighting back from there.”
Jerling’s record for his last four opening rounds show that his opener at Parys was cause for celebration. He finished his first round of the Vodacom Origins of Golf St Francis on four-over-par 76; he finished the first round of the Vodacom Origins of Golf Arabella on three-over-par 75; and he was one over-par-72 for his opening round of Vodacom Origins of Golf Selborne.
“I got off to a good start, birdieing the first and then birdieing the par-five fourth. I just built momentum from there. I hit a few loose iron shots around the 10th, but I left myself in good positions to be able to get up and down. I managed to do that.
“The back nine, I turned it on. I birdied the 10th and 11th. On 15, I actually holed out for eagle from about 130 in the right rough and I did not even see the ball. It just flew and I didn’t see it go in. That really helped with my momentum and carried me through to the finish.”
The 26-year-old player only dropped a shot on sixth hole which he believes is the most challenging on the course. “Number six is definitely the toughest hole on the course,” he said. “Five is never a bad score there, but I actually hit a very poor tee shot when I skied a three-wood. So, I was forced to lay-up, which I think was a blessing in disguise, because I think there is a lot of danger around that green. I wasn’t too upset, because I saw on the score sheet that there were a lot of guys who made fives and sixes already. So, it did not break my momentum too much.”
Agren’s round started on the 10th, and he got off to a flyer, making five birdies on his way to the turn in 31. It was a little tougher on his homeward nine, with a bogey to start with, but two more birdies took him to six-under and a share of the lead with Jerling.
This all came after saying before his round that he believed it was a tough course. “If you look at every hole, it is quite a tough course,” he laughed afterwards. “But I hit basically every tee shot where I wanted. That way I was left with some short irons in and I was lucky to hit those well as well. That way, you can make some birdies.”
Keith Horne, Doug McGuigan and Garth Mulroy finished one shot off Jerling and Agren.
“I haven’t been playing great in the last few months,” said Horne. “I had a little bit of a break. Here to shoot 67 on a golf course I haven’t played before, I will take it.”
McGuigan said, “I am hitting the ball very well. I am still struggling a bit to get over my illness, but I just have to keep going and keep fighting it. It is always nice to lead whether it is a first or second round. It would be better to do it in the last round.”
For Jerling, it will be about building on his good start: “I think it will be really enjoyable to be in this position tomorrow for a change,” he said.