Johannesburg – Alex Haindl shot a four-under-par 68 to take the lead after the opening round of the Origins of Golf Final event at the St Francis Links golf course on Wednesday.
Haindl leads the rest of the field by a single stroke, with Jake Roos and Drikus Bruyns his closest rivals, while Heinrich Bruiners came through the round with a two-under 70.
Haindl looked solid throughout the day, apart from the bogey on his final hole, the par-four ninth.
“I only had one practice round so I'm happy with this start. I think it's a beautiful golf course, but it obviously depends a lot on what the wind does here,” Haindl said of his round.
The last time the course hosted the final of the Origins series in 2008, only the winner and runner-up finished below par, thanks to the difficult layout of the Jack Nicklaus-designed course.
Haindl, however, did not take part in that event and says he is pleased to have entered this year's tournament without that result lingering in his mind.
“I heard about that tournament and I'm very glad I never played in it,” he said.
“I think there would've been too many mental scars from that.” – Sapa