Jacques Blaauw got off to a good start on Thursday in the first round of the Challenge Tour’s Hopps Open de Provence at Golf International de Pont Royal in Mallemort, France, as he fired a five-under-par 67.
It was a quiet start for the 35-year-old Blaauw who got his round underway on the 10th. After three straight pars, he made a bogey on the 13th. There were four more pars after that, and then he made eagle on par-five 18th to turn in one-under. The eagle kick-started Blaauw as he made four birdies and no bogeys on his way home to finish the round just one stroke off the lead.
“I pitched it in from 69 yards,” said Blaauw of his eagle. “I was so happy because nothing was really happening out there, and after that my round got going. I definitely left some out there but, overall, I’m happy with my round.”
There were eight players in a share of the lead, including recent Challenge Tour winner Hugo Leon on Chile and local amateur Tom Vaillant. There were four other players on five-under in a share of ninth with Blaauw, and seven players on four-under in a share of 14th.
Oliver Bekker opened with a two-under 70, with four birdies and two bogeys. He was joined in a share of 30th by JC Ritchie and Hennie du Plessis, the other South Africans in the field.