Jedeal Tshwane Disabled Open Round 1 Wrap
Get caught up on all the action from round one of the Jedeal Tshwane Disabled Open at Waterkloof Golf Club on Saturday.
Van Baalen leads congested Physically-Disabled Medal
On a difficult day for scoring, Kelvin van Baalen staked his claim as the man to beat in the Physically-Disabled Medal after a round of 9-over 81. The Les Autres golfer endured a difficult start to his round as bogeys at the 1st and 3rd preceded a triple-bogey 7 at the 4th. A double-drop at the 7th followed, Van Baalen making the turn in 43.
The Kwazulu-Natal Disabled Open winner was much-improved on the inward nine. After dropped shots at the 10th and 11th, a red-number at the 14th was just the tonic Van Baalen needed. To his credit, Van Baalen quickly put a double-bogey 5 at the penultimate hole behind him as he carded a second red-number of the day at the par-5 closing hole to ensure he ended day one a shot clear of playing partner Daniel Slabbert.
“Coming into the event I’d played four practice rounds which I felt gave me an edge over players who were perhaps not as familiar with the course,” said Van Baalen.
“I’m happy to be in the mix and in with a shot heading to tomorrow. The win in KZN proved to me that I am good enough to win these SADGA Opens and I hope that I can get it done tomorrow,” he said.
Van Niekerk vaults into Physically-Disabled Stableford lead
Deon Van Niekerk was sublime in the first round, carding 43 (!!) points to open up an 8-point lead over Kenyan Jimmy Simenya. Van Nielerk made a flying start with three opening three-pointers before a fourth at the 15th. Four-pointers at the 16th and 18th meanwhile saw the arm-amputee turn in 25 points.
Relatively speaking Van Niekerk “cooled off” on the inward nine but 18 points is certainly nothing to sneeze at. A run of four three-pointers from his 11th hole of the day was the glue which held the nine together while a four-pointer at the 6th was the crowning moment of a day to remember for Van Niekerk.
Special mention must be made of Simenya though who is not only the first Kenyan to participate in a SADGA event but who also is clearly not out to merely make up the numbers.
Of his first taste of golf for the disabled, Simenya said:
“The SADGA group is a special group for me because I finally get to play with disabled people unlike in Kenya where we don’t have any opportunity to do so,” said Simenya.
“My playing partners were making jokes during the round and it put less pressure on me which helped me make the opportunity count.
Williams leads Deaf Medal
Charles Williams stamped his authority on the Deaf Medal division with a round of 86 to earn a six-shot lead over Albano Dos Santos. Williams’ round was a tale of two fairly similar nines. Beginning on the 10th, the Deaflympian could only manage pars at the 11th, 15th and 17th while a double-drop at the 18th and 5 further dropped shots saw him turn in 43.
On Waterkloof’s outward nine, Williams carded a birdie-4 at the 2nd while double-bogey at the 7th and 9th and further bogeys at the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 8th saw the always-smiling Williams ensure he’ll take a sizeable lead into the final round.
Goliath grabs Deaf Stableford Lead
Deaf golfer Kyle Goliath carded a solid round of 31 points to take a four-point lead over Zubenathi Kroti into the final round.
Goliath overcame a difficult start to his round in which he recorded just a single point in his first three holes. A three-pointer at the par-4 13th galvanised him though as he recorded further three-pointers at the 16th and 17th. Two points at the 18th saw Goliath turn with 15 points to his name.
He was a model of consistency on his inward-nine, carding no fewer than eight successive two-pointers. Unfortunately he came up empty handed on the final hole but if he carries his day one level of play into the final round, he’s unlikely to leave Waterkloof Golf Club empty handed come tournament end!