24th May 2017 | Big Easy Tour
De Villiers leads a 7-way tie in Kempton Park
Jacques P de Villiers is leading the seven-way tie for the lead on the opening day of the Big Easy Tour Kempton Park event where all seven golfers shot five-under-par 67s at Kempton Park Golf Club.
He co-leads with Combrinck Smit, Wayne Stroebel, Englandâ€™s Chris Cannon, Irvin Mazibuko, reigning champion Pieter Kruger and Teagan Moore. A bogey on the par-four sixth spoilt what could have been a perfect round for De Villiers and that dropped shot brought along the pressure under which he finds himself at the summit. He is happy with the finish nevertheless.
â€œI am very chuffed. I played very nicely; I hit the ball really well. Â Rolled the ball nicely,â€ said De Villiers, adding that he has been working very hard on his game. â€œConsistency.Â I have been working very hard on consistency and trying to eliminate as many mistakes as possible,â€ he said.
Smit was just as happy after his round even though he dropped shots on the fourth, the 15th and 17th holes. â€œI played quite well today. I hit the ball decently and made a few good up-and-downs for pars,â€ Smit said, â€œand, I think the strength has been the putter. On this course if you are putting well, you can score. Itâ€™s not very difficult, I would say, but you have to capitalise on the par-fives.â€
Mazibuko credits his fine display today to making a few mistakes. â€œI am very happy because I played well. I didnâ€™t make too many mistakes and where I did I recovered well,â€ he said, â€œand, my short game is also looking good. This is my home course and I am going to go for a win here.â€
The reigning champion Kruger signed for a flawless round in the first round of his title-defending event. Â The trio of Desne Van den Berg, Allister de Kock and Riekus Nortje share eighth after they all carded rounds of four-under-par 68.
Leader on the Order of Merit, Maritz Wessels, shares 11th with Zimbabweâ€™s Greg Bentley, Neezy Thubisi, Anton Haig, Simon Kruger and Jonathan Waschefort on three-under 69.