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Lombard rushes to lead in George

28 Mar 2014

Sanlam Cape Province Open first round leader, Zander Lombard; credit Roger Sedres.

Gauteng North’s Zander Lombard fired a magnificent five-under-par 67 in the opening round of the Sanlam Cape Province Open to lead by one shot from Armand Scholtz and Gerlou Roux.

The Pretoria golfer was in irrepressible form at the Kingswood Golf Estate, wiping out a lone early bogey at the second with six birdies.

Roux and Scholtz also took advantage of the sunny conditions at Kingswood to pursue the country’s number two ranked player.

Just five days after a play-off defeat at the North West Open on Sunday, Roux was back in the hunt.

The Western Province golfer could have held the outright lead after six birdies and a clutch of pars, but a double-bogey at the par-four 15th knocked his rally off track.

Boland’s Scholtz also dropped shots at the 10th and 13th, but he pushed his way back into contention with birdies at the 15th and 17th holes.

Limpopo’s Thriston Lawrence carded a 69 to finish two shots off the pace.

The reigning Sanlam SA Amateur champion is tied for fourth with Gregory Royston from KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Province’s Sieg Human Jnr and Ekurhuleni’s Tristen Strydom.

Meanwhile South Africa’s top ranked Christiaan Bezuidenhout is also in touch at two under 70.

The Ekurhuleni player shares eighth place with local favourites, Henk Geldenhuys and Breyten, Boland’s Meyer Pauw and Alex Jordan from the Eastern Province.

The lack of wind at the two Garden Route courses encouraged a day of good scoring and 22 players shooting par or better in the 72-hole stroke play championship.

Lombard has been in threatening form of late, but still has to break into the winner’s circle.

The 19-year-old from the TuksGolf Academy was delighted to finish at the top the pile.

“It’s really nice to put together a round like this, especially after I made a few small changes to my swing earlier this season,” he said.

“It’s taken a while to click but I can feel the swing starting to come together. I was very solid from tee to green, but the birdies were all down to the putter.”

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