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16th April 2024 | Big Easy Tour

Basson in three-way share of lead at Blue Valley

The final tournament of the Altron Big Easy Tour got off to an exciting start at Blue Valley Golf Estate as no less than three players posted first-round scores of 68 to lead the field by one on Tuesday.

Xander Basson, Jason Roets and Andre De Decker navigated their way expertly at Blue Valley on day one of this 54-hole event, signing for rounds of 68 apiece. Basson, who plays out of Silver Lakes Country Club in Pretoria, started like a house on fire in Centurion. After making a par on the first hole, Basson birdied the next four holes to get it to four-under through five.

His joy was short-lived, however, as he dropped on the par-four fifth. He steadied himself and parred the next hole before making further gains with a birdie two on the par-three eighth. He made par on the ninth to turn in 32.

The par on nine was followed by three more after the turn. Basson birdied the 13th but made back-to-back drops on 15 and 16. He redeemed himself with a solid birdie on the last to seal a round of 68.

“I got off to a really good start today, birdied four of my first five holes,” said Basson. “That got me going really quick but the wind slowed me down a little bit on the back nine. I just couldn’t get a proper club but I kept it together and birdied the last.

“I struggled a bit last week in the final round but today, it seems like I got a few things together, so I think I can go from here and do something special this week.”

Mauritius’ Pierre Pelegrin, Vaughn Van Deventer, Thrion Nel, Stals Swart, Werner Deyzel and veteran Andrew McLardy share fourth on the leaderboard on three-under after the first round. Last week’s runner-up, Ricky Hendler, Slade Pickering, Keegan Mclachlan, Leon Vorster and Travis Ladner make up the top 10 leading players on two-under-par.

Only the top 30 players on the final Order of Merit are eligible for the final tournament of the Altron Big Easy Tour. The top 12 players on the rankings will earn their Sunshine Tour playing cards for the upcoming season.