By Matthews Mfubu (Fullpage Media and Communications)
Andre Van Dyk took full advantage of the calm morning weather in the opening round of the Altron Big Easy Tour tournament at Huddle Park Golf Club, carding a bogey-free 62 to lead by four on Monday.
Van Dyk teed off early in the morning before the wind picked up speed, and on a day when he looked unable to make mistakes, played himself to the summit of the leaderboard after the first round of this 54-hole event.
“I started very good today,” said Van Dyk who plays out of Orkney Golf Club. “My ball striking was amazing and the putter; I didn’t miss any putt. I drove it really well and when I was on the greens, it felt like the ball was never going to miss. From the start, I kept it solid and avoided any situation that would lead to a bogey, and I only missed two greens. It allowed me to play with ease and less stress. Even when the wind started to pick up, I just kept hitting fairways and greens and making the putts that I needed to make.”
Van Dyk’s front nine was characterised by birdies on the second, third, sixth and ninth holes before he went on the charge after the turn. There, the 22-year-old Van Dyk seemed to have found something special and after the two pars he made on 10 and 11, he just let loose. Six birdies on the trot helped him to a 10-under-par 62 and to the top of the leaderboard.
“Today was good,” added Van Dyk, “and I even said to my caddie it feels like I shouldn’t even read the greens because it seemed like every putt was going in. The wind played a bit tricky on the back nine but I tried to miss at the right spots so that I didn’t short-side myself. But, I’m glad I put together a low one today and let’s see how tomorrow goes.”
While Van Dyk will know that his is a healthy cushion as things stand, he will also be aware of the quality of the field that’s chasing him, and in a share of that second spot is the duo of Luke Trocado and Dylan O’Leary. Their respective rounds of six-under 66 were just as spectacular, especially given the tricky wind that had visited Huddle Park in the morning.
Trocado felt that he could have scored better in round one but was still ecstatic to start off with a solid score.
“I just drove it perfectly today and I didn’t miss a fairway,” Trocado said, “and that made it easier to attack the flags. I feel like I left a lot out there and could have done better in some stages. But, I can’t complain about a six-under. It’s a good start.” A shot further and tied for fourth are Matthew Rushton, Ruan de Smidt, Dayne Moore and Jason Roets.
Xander Basson, Zabastien de Jager, Andrew McLardy, Stals Swart, Ruan Groenewald and Thabiso Ngcobo share the eighth spot on four-under after day one.
This 54-hole tournament is the fourth of a 12-event long season of this Sunshine Tour developmental tour which was first commissioned in 2011.