Watts Surges To Six-Stroke Lead At Irene Disabled Open

By: Craig Stirton
Irene Country Club, 8 May 2022: David Watts fired a round of 74 as he surged to a six-shot lead after round one of the Irene Disabled Open at Irene Country Club on Sunday.
Watts – fresh off his commanding victory at the Ebotse Links Disabled Open – mixed four birdies with two bogeys over the front-nine as he turned in two-under par 34. The birdies came at the 2nd, 6th, 7th and 9th while he dropped shots at the 3rd and 5th respectively. 
Though Watts dropped four shots on the inward nine and failed to add to his birdie-tally, his round-one effort has him primed to register his second SA Disabled Golf tournament victory in as many starts.
Robin Singh is Watts’ nearest-challenger having returned a score of 80 while Kelvin van Baalen and Denian Reid are a further four shots adrift.
Emmanuel Leads Physically-Disabled Stableford
Another newcomer to the SADGA who acquitted himself well in round one is Mike Emmanuel. Beginning on the par-5 10th, Emmanuel carded back-to-back pars which yielded six points. He kept his tally ticking over the next four holes before closing out his nine with an astonishing three pars in a row each of which garnered three-points.
Emmanuel showed no sign of cooling off coming home as he carded two two-pointers and a pair of three-pointers to begin his second-nine.
Though a one-pointer at the tough par-4 5th-hole followed, Emmanuel capped off a superb day with four two-pointers to close out his day.
Blind golfer Johan Kotze is Emmanuel’s nearest challenger having carded 35 points while Charlene Pienaar returned 34 points.

Dos Santos Storms To Deaf Strokeplay Lead
Albano Dos Santos stormed to a sizable 15-stroke lead over Kwazi Mahlangu after shooting a round of 89. 
The battle for second, however, is considerably tighter after Mark Maconochie carded 105 and will certainly challenge Mahlangu in the second and final round. 
All-Tied Up In Deaf Stableford
Shanon Van der Berg and Mpho Thathla are all tied-up in the Deaf Stableford having carded matching rounds of 26 points.
Final Thoughts
Golf is a strange game so while the first-round leaders in the respective divisions appear to have one hand on the trophy, anything can happen in the final round.
This event would not be possible without the considerable support leant by the Gauteng Nomads and Irene Country Club as well as Golf RSA to whom the SADGA extends a collective thank you.
Photo Caption: David Watts in action at the Irene Disabled Open at Irene Country Club. 
Credit: South African Disabled Golf Association
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