Nomads Joburg Open Round One Wrap
Killarney Country Club, 2 April 2023: We wrap the first round action from the Nomads Joburg Disabled Open which took place at Killarney Country Club on Sunday.
Slabbert, Van Baalen share Physically-Disabled Medal Lead
Playing partners Daniel Slabbert and Kelvin van Baalen fed off one another en route to matching rounds of 6-over par 76 to share the Physically-Disabled medal first round lead.
Slabbert made the turn in three-over par 38 after book-ending his opening nine with bogeys at 10th and 18 while carding a double-bogey at the par-4 13th and a birdie at the par-5 15th.
Van Baalen meanwhile made a slower start with bogeys at his opening two holes of the day. Another dropped shot came at the par-4 16th before his first red number of the day at the 17th as he ultimately made the turn in 37.
Van Baalen played his inward nine in four-four par 39 – dropping shots and 9th to go along with five pars.
Van Baalen’s round was a perfect illustration of the fine margins that exist in the game.
“I got a bit unlucky on a few of the shots. I actually hit fantastic shots which were just a little bit too long and in the back bunker for example so tomorrow I’m hoping to be a little bit more precise,” Van Baalen said.
Nevertheless, Van Baalen is feeling good about his game heading into the final round as he eyes a first SADGA Open win.
“I’m confident, my swing is feeling very good, I’m feeling like I can shoot a 70 but I’m just happy to be hitting the ball in the right places, it’s a difficult golf course, you have to hit it straight. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and hopefully I can get that first win!”
Slabbert overcame a triple-bogey 7 at his 11th hole of the day by notching an eagle-3 at the par-5 5th and although he made a double-bogey at the par-3 7th and bogey at the par-4 9th, a birdie at his penultimate hole of the day ensured he and Van Baalen will begin the final round tied at the top.
Assessing his round, Slabbert remarked that not having played many competitive rounds in recent times meant he erred on the side of caution on day one.
“Normally I’m just playing social golf and there is no pressure on you whatsoever so you can try to hit certain shots but now playing a medal round you try and limit your mistakes so sometimes I played just a little too conservatively,” he said.
“I’ll need to see what kind of game I have in the final round, try and limit the mistakes and see how it goes.”
Schultz four-points ahead in Physically-Disabled Stableford
Les Autres golfer Jodi Schultz laid down an early marker in the Physically-Disabled division as he carded a round of 37 points which earned him a four-point lead over Eugene Janse van Vuuren.
Beginning on the par-4 10th, Schultz made a solid start to his round as he carded 16 points over his opening nine holes highlighted by 3-pointers at the 12th and 17th which complemented four two-pointers.
Schultz played phenomenal golf after the turn, reeling off back-to-to-back three pointers at the 1st and 2nd before a birdie at the 3rd which yielded five points! He maintained this fantastic momentum with two more three-pointers at the 4th and 8th which propelled him to an inward nine of 21 points.
Janse Van Vuuren had some fireworks of his own as he made the turn with 20 points to his credit courtesy of a four-pointer at his third hole of the day before three-pointers at the 15th, 17th and 18th. Though he cooled off after the turn, amassing just 13 second-nine points, Van Vuuren will begin the final round within striking distance of Schultz.
Dos Santos in pole position of Deaf Medal
Albano Dos Santos opened up an eight-stroke lead over Mark Maconochie after signing for a round of 22-over par 93.
Dos Santos made the turn in 44 having made pars at the 14th, 15th, 17th and 18th but his great play on these holes was undermined by double-bogeys at the 10th, 11th, 13th and 16th.
His inward nine consisted of pars at the 5th and 8th as he signed for a second-nine of 49.
The leaderboards across the divisions are shaping up nicely and we’re set for a thrilling conclusion to the first SADGA Open of the year!
Photo: Caption – Kelvin van Baalen tees off. Credit: South African Disabled Golf Association