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20th June 2017 | Big Easy Tour

Hammond in three-way tie after round one of The Roar

Daniel Hammond was in a three-way tie atop the leaderboard in the opening round of the co-sanctioned Big Easy Tour-MENA Tour’s The Roar at Waterkloof Golf Club on Tuesday.

Joined by Kenya’s Stefan Engell Andersen and JJ Senekal on seven-under 65, Hammond began cautiously as he made pars on the 10th and 11th, his first two holes, and three consecutive birdies thereafter. He made birdie on the par-three 18th. His putter was again on song on the homeward nine as he made four more birdies on that stretch, while dropping a shot on eight, a par-three hole.

“I’m very, very chuffed,” Hammond said. “I hit the ball really good the whole day; made a few clutch-putts coming in towards the end, but unfortunately bogeyed my second last hole. I missed a little five-footer but I’m overall very happy for the day.”

He will be wary of the threat posed by the pair with whom he shares the lead because Senekal has been on hot form on the Sunshine Tour since the first event of the new season and only a win will satisfy him at this point. He has three top-10 finishes in five starts on the main tour and after shooting a flawless seven-under 65 round; he didn’t mince his words about his intentions.

“Today, not a lot of mistakes off the tee,” he said, “I think I hit 15 greens. The confidence has been high on the Sunshine Tour the whole year. I’m just trying to bring that here and try to show the boys that I can play golf and that I’m out here for one thing; and that’s to win.

“Obviously, getting through the qualifiers was the first step, obviously got that right. And from here on it’s just to win and go home and go have some holiday,” Senekal said.

Chilean Matias Calderon led a five-man tie on five-under to share fourth. Among those with whom he shares the positon are Breyten Meyer, who won the South to East Challenge at Ebotse a fortnight ago, and Danie van Niekerk.

Making up the top 10 after round one in Pretoria, all on four-under-par 68 at ninth position, are amateur Karabo Mokoena, Andrew van der Knaap, PH McIntrye, Jason Smith, Chilean Cyril Suk, Dylan O’Leary and Aubrey Beckley.