Waterkloof Golf Club, 13 August 2022: Les Autres golfer Kelvin van Baalen laid down an early marker with an opening-round 75 which earned him a one-shot lead over David Watts in the Physically-Disabled Medal after the first round of the Tshwane Disabled Open on Saturday.
Van Baalen made a flying start to his round as he began with two consecutive birdies. Though he surrendered a shot at the par-4 4th, he bounced back immediately with yet another red-number at the par-3 6th. His scintillating start didn’t end there, however, as he notched a further birdie at the 7th and despite carding back-to-back bogeys to close out the nine, Van Baalen made the turn at one-under par.
His strong start was undermined somewhat by three closing bogeys which saw him sign for an inward nine of 40 and a round of 75. Nevertheless, Van Baalen is in pole position heading into the final round as he goes in search of a maiden SADGA Open title.
Trailing Van Baalen is the man who claimed convincing victories in the Ebotse Links, Irene and Kwazulu-Natal Disabled Opens respectively earlier in the year. Watts began his bid for a fourth SADGA Open title with a front-nine 38 during which he mixed bogeys at the 4th, 5th and 8th with a birdie at the 7th to turn in 38.
A second-nine which featured seven pars and dropped shots at the 10th and 13th respectively saw Watts sign for a 76 and set up an intriguing final-round battle with Van Baalen.
Curtley Roberts is four shots adrift after a first-round 79.
Crawford Leads Physically-Disabled Stableford
Sebastian Crawford made a fantastic start to his round with two three-pointers and three two-pointers over his first five holes. Further three-pointers at the 16th and 17th helped cap off a front-nine of 19 points.
His inward nine began brightly with three two-pointers over his first four holes. Though one-pointers at the 5th and 7th followed, back-to-back three-pointers at the 8th and 9th saw him sign for 35 round-one points.
One point adrift of Crawford is visually-impaired golfer Charlene Pienaar who returned a score of 34 highlighted by four three-pointers split two apiece over the front and back-nines. Ernst Conradie meanwhile matched Pienaar’s 34-point haul and will be in with a good chance of victory in the final round.
Botha leads Deaf Medal
Deaflympian Jay-Jay Botha opened up a sizable 14-shot lead over Donovan Stephenson in the Deaf Medal after a round of 86 highlighted by a birdie-3 at the 16th.
Snyman leads Deaf Stableford
Rhyno Snyman made a good start to his Tshwane Open, carding 29 first-round points as he opened up an eight-point lead over Shanon Van der Berg in the Deaf Stableford.
Snyman’s round included a four-pointer at the 12th and three-pointers at the 2nd, 6th and 13th. A smattering of two-pointers at timely intervals ensured that Snyman begins the second and final round in control of the Deaf Stableford division.
After some fantastic round one scoring, the Tshwane Disabled Open is set for a thrilling final round across all four divisions.
Photo Caption: Kelvin Van Baalen in action during Round One of the Tshwane Disabled Open at Waterkloof Golf Club.
Photo Credit: South African Disabled Golf Association
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