Jason Froneman says he was happy with his putting on Monday as he raced to a blemish-free 66 to share the lead with Chris Swanepoel on day one of the Altron Big Easy Tour tournament held at Kyalami Country Club.
The Kempton Park Golf Club player has missed three cuts in the last five tournaments but returned a rejuvenated man in Kyalami where he navigated the course with relative ease en route to the summit of the leaderboard.
“My golf swing has been a little bit up and down this season,” noted Froneman. “I’ve been swinging it well but I have not been getting the scores together. It hasn’t been far off, however, and I have been pushing through. I am happy with how I have played and how the tournaments have been organised.
“Today, the whole game just came together. The putter was really on point and I putted really nicely, and if I had a stray shot, I stayed patient and made the up-and-down that I needed to make and carried on. The greens are rolling decently and if I hit it on the right line, it went in.”
Froneman teed off from the 10th, making three straight pars before going on a three-birdie run from the 13th through to the 15th. Another birdie followed, this time on the 17th, as Froneman turned in 32 and bogey-free.
Froneman was happy to play it safe where he didn’t see opportunities and after the turn, he made four back-to-back pars to keep things solid and avoid the big numbers. He was rewarded with a birdie on the fifth, his 14th hole of the day before three more pars preceded his sixth birdie of the day on the last.
“When you start strong, you get a little boost to your confidence,” Froneman said of his opening round this week, “because you don’t feel you need to chase from the get-go. In that sense, it kind of makes things easier going forward. But there are two more rounds to go still and hopefully, all goes well for the next two rounds and carries on like it is going.”
Swanepoel also fired in a 66, albeit with a solitary bogey which visited his card on his very first hole of the day. While he was happy with his start, the experienced campaigner was quick to note that it’s not always how you start that matters, but rather how you finish.
“You can’t win it on the first day but it’s always nice to start well in a tournament, said Swanepoel after his round. “I hit a bad three-iron on the first and then I missed the putt but I wasn’t too worried because I still had 17 holes to go. I think I played well today and it’s nice to play yourself into position early on because you never know what might happen. I putted well today and I chipped well also, so I am happy with my start.”
Zambia’s Dayne Moore signed for a five-under 67 to take solo third on the leaderboard while the duo of Slade Pickering and Luke Trocado share the fifth spot after rounds of 68 each. State Mines Country Club player Vaughn van Deventer is in a seven-way share of the sixth spot, along with Adam Breen, amateur Casey Jarvis, Zimbabwe’s Stuart Krog, DK Kim, Matthew Spacey, member of the Papwa Sewgolum Class, Musiwalo Nethunzwi and Francois van Staden – all on three-under-par 69.
By Matthews Mfubu (Fullpage Media and Communications)