Harare - Two rounds gave Le Roux Ferreira a new-found confidence on Thursday as he surged his way to a seven-under-par 65 and the first-round lead of the Zimbabwe Open.
Six birdies, and eagle and just a single bogey around Royal Harare Golf Club saw Ferreira one stroke clear of the formidable duo of Jacques Blaauw and Jean Hugo, with a big group of six players a further shot back on five-under-par 67.
That group included the leading Zimbabwean, Tongoona Charamba, as well as the 2010 Zimbabwe Open champion Jbe’ Kruger.
“Since last week, I started to believe more in myself,” Ferreira said after his round.
“I had a couple of good rounds in the Telkom Business PGA Championship, and I just felt that this week is going to be a good week.”
Those good rounds came in the second and third rounds of South Africa’s second-oldest tournament, during which he carded 69 and 68 and eventually finished in a share of 44th.
“Good scores make you believe in yourself,” Ferreira added.
“I played here (Zimbabwe) last year, but I didn’t play well. I like it a lot more now. It’s an awesome golf course. It’s one of the best we play all year.”
His sentiments echoed those of all the players, and Blaauw, after a bogey on the second hole, rectified his round as he made an eagle and five birdies to share second with Hugo.
“I had a stupid three-putt from just over the green, but after that I steadied the ship and played nicely,” Blaauw said.
Joining Charamba and Kruger on five-under par were Daniel Greene, Englishman Jack Harrison, Warren Abery and Alan Michell, with a further six players on four-under-par 68, including Ulriuch van den Berg who lost to Titch Moore in a dramatic five-hole play-off in last week’s Telkom Business PGA Championship.
Moore had a quiet start after firing a 10-under-par 62 in the previous day’s pro-am competition.
His two-under-par 70 matched defending champion Jake Roos’ practise round score
Ryan Cairns was the next-best Zimbabwean after Charamba with his one-under-par 71.