By NAKAMPE LEKWADU
GOLF stars participating in the Joburg Open 2012 currently underway at the Kensington Golf Course, Johhanesburg have reacted with mixed feelings about their first day’s performance and the course itself.
This competition which will see an overall winner smilling all the way to the bank with more than R1.8 million in prize-money got off to a good start yesterday but only to be suspended half-way due to some down pouring which was characterized by thunderstorms.
Joel Sjoholm said he was excited about the West Course as it keeps playing straight.
“ The course is great and very great to my liking and my game today was okay as my putting was really on form and I made some good ones which did the trick for my round. I did what I needed to do today and hopefully tomorrow I can do the same so that come the weekend I am right up there,” said Sjoholm who had recorded 66,-6 at the time of going to the press.
Said Tommy Fleetwood (66,-5): “I just stayed patient today, and that seemed to work out for me. I believe the way to succeed around here is to stay patient and relax- I learnt that from Louis Oosthuizen last week. He was level- par through nine and just stayed patient, and finished 27 under.
Today the West Course course was bit wet, which makes it play longer and little thicker, but there are plenty of birdies out there. That made it difficult to take the spin off the ball, especially with my wedges. The rough is heavy out there and you don’t want to get caught,
Also commenting about the West Course was Ariel Canete (70,-1) who said the course this year is bit tougher than he has seen it before.
“It is longer and still bit wet from the rain yesterday. I am not the longerst hitter, so it was tough, but my game is not feeling too bad. I found the rough was longer, and added to the difficult-keeping it in play is already important and around this course and longer rough makes it more important. Anyhow one under is not the best round, but I didn’t play badly. I was three under for the most of the round but had a bad finish,”
Commenting about the East Course which he played on, Dawie van der Walt (70,-2) said: “ Two under is not a bad score, I had a great start, but we were put on clock abd after that I went bogey, par, bogey.
It’s been a while since I played here, but my game is feeling good and I like this course. I shot 65 on the East Course last year. People say West Course is easier, but I don’t find that, and maybe on the weekend I can shoot some low rounds.”
In total, an amount of R11.7 million has been set aside for the pool prize-money in this tournament which saw Ariel Canete winning the inaugural title in 2007 before he was dethrowned by Richard Sterne in 2008 before Anders Hansen could lift the honour in 2009 with winning it back to back in 2010 and 2011 respectively.