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24th May 2017 | Big Easy Tour

De Villiers leads a 7-way tie in Kempton Park

Jacques P de Villiers is leading the seven-way tie for the lead on the opening day of the Big Easy Tour Kempton Park event where all seven golfers shot five-under-par 67s at Kempton Park Golf Club.

He co-leads with Combrinck Smit, Wayne Stroebel, England’s Chris Cannon, Irvin Mazibuko, reigning champion Pieter Kruger and Teagan Moore. A bogey on the par-four sixth spoilt what could have been a perfect round for De Villiers and that dropped shot brought along the pressure under which he finds himself at the summit. He is happy with the finish nevertheless.

“I am very chuffed. I played very nicely; I hit the ball really well.  Rolled the ball nicely,” said De Villiers, adding that he has been working very hard on his game. “Consistency.  I have been working very hard on consistency and trying to eliminate as many mistakes as possible,” he said.

Smit was just as happy after his round even though he dropped shots on the fourth, the 15th and 17th holes. “I played quite well today. I hit the ball decently and made a few good up-and-downs for pars,” Smit said, “and, I think the strength has been the putter. On this course if you are putting well, you can score. It’s not very difficult, I would say, but you have to capitalise on the par-fives.”

Mazibuko credits his fine display today to making a few mistakes. “I am very happy because I played well. I didn’t make too many mistakes and where I did I recovered well,” he said, “and, my short game is also looking good. This is my home course and I am going to go for a win here.”

The reigning champion Kruger signed for a flawless round in the first round of his title-defending event.  The trio of Desne Van den Berg, Allister de Kock and Riekus Nortje share eighth after they all carded rounds of four-under-par 68.

Leader on the Order of Merit, Maritz Wessels, shares 11th with Zimbabwe’s Greg Bentley, Neezy Thubisi, Anton Haig, Simon Kruger and Jonathan Waschefort on three-under 69.