Jaco Prinsloo made two bogeys on Tuesday, but still carded an eight-under-par 64 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Sunshine Tour’s Serengeti Pro-Am Invitational at Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate.
With nines of 32 and 32, and bogeys on the fifth and the 15th – both par-threes – he made an eagle and eight birdies to make up for the dropped shots and take a one-stroke lead over James Hart du Preez. Jean-Paul Strydom, Daniel Greene and Anthony Michael were in a share of third on six-under.
“I was actually a bit agitated during the first five holes,” said Prinsloo, who won two weeks ago and had a solid share of 16 last week at Ebotse, and should have been pretty relaxed. “I had a chat with my caddie, and we decided to just take everything as it comes and let the birdies come. And they did!”
He’d made two up to that point, and he made six after the little conversation. And he also made eagle on the eighth. “I hit a really good drive, right down the middle,” he said. “And then I actually tugged my six-iron a bit, and finished up left of the pin and quite close to the water. But I made the out for eagle.”
It’s a tournament with a difference this week, and the props get two rounds on the main course under their belts today and on Wednesday, and then, after a day’s rest, and a cut to the top 50, they take on the Serengeti par-three course on Friday in the company of the amateurs. Then they round out the week with the final two rounds back on the main course on Saturday and Sunday.
“The format doesn’t bother me as much as the weather does,” said Prinsloo. “I hear there’s some rain coming in, but there’s not much I can do but pull on the rain suit and see what I can make of the conditions.”
Behind the trio in third, last week’s champion Jbe’ Kruger had a good start with a five-under 67. He shared sixth place with Jean Hugo, Germany’s Freddy Schott, MJ Viljoen and Louis Albertse.